Spanish Data Protection Agency implements NOTA system

18 October 2006

Alexander Benalal, Ana Maria Rodriguez

On 1 September the Spanish Data Protection Agency implemented a new electronic notification system called "NOTA" which incorporates electronic signatures to an online process of registration.

This new system of notification complies with one of the most important commitments of electronic administration, namely to simplify the administrative requirements and adapt the legislation in order to apply technical solutions in an efficient way.

As a result of this, the controller can now notify new files using the internet with a digital certificate of its electronic signature. This new option means that there is no longer a requirement to submit any documents in hard copy to the Agency. All the requirements can be complied with using electronic means. Controllers may still use the existing notification options if they wish (i.e. (i) notification using the internet and then submitting an application form in hard copy to the Agency, (ii) notification submitted to the Agency in soft copy, and (iii) notification submitted to the Agency in hard copy).

This new system of electronic notification has also made it easier to comply with the notification obligations, because the "NOTA" system has simplified the registration form, reducing the form from 13 to 3 pages.

In addition, the Agency has realised that a third of the total registered files were a specific category of file (e.g. files of clients, human resources, salaries, patients etc.) For these cases the Agency has provided the data controller with a series of pro-forma compliant notifications in order to make notification of these kinds of files easier.

"NOTA" will also provide the controller with an interchanging system based in XML message, which will provide a system whereby the controller can send notification using his own programs, with or without a certificate of the electronic signature. In order to comply with these obligations, the Agency has established the rules that the application must be presented in the correct way to the Agency.

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