The Spanish Ministry of Justice Launches Public Consultation for a New Spanish Data Protection Law

17 February 2017

In Spain, laws affecting fundamental rights, such as the right to the protection of an individual's personal data, have a certain status: they are known as "organic laws". Special approval procedures are required for organic laws in Spain, as they must be approved by an absolute majority in the Spanish Parliament.

Therefore, although the new European General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") will have direct effect in Spain, its provisions must be internally transposed through a national organic law. In practice, this means that, without prejudice to the direct application of the GDPR, Spain will have an internal organic law in force regulating the protection of personal data.

Furthermore, Spain has several national sector-specific laws that envisage data protection related provisions which have been drafted in light of the currently applicable data protection legislation based on Directive 95/46/EC (for example, the Spanish insurance law or the Spanish administrative law). This sector-specific legislation will be updated in order to make it consistent with new GDPR, which will come into force on 25th May 2018.

The Spanish Government is already working on drafting the aforementioned organic law and on updating those sector-specific laws that have data protection related provisions.

In this context, the Spanish Ministry of Justice has launched a public consultation on the adaptation of the Spanish legal system to the GDPR (i.e. on the content of the updated organic laws). This consultation was launched on 7th February and will end on 28th February 2017. The consultation focuses on updates to the current Spanish Data Protection Organic Act, as well as other internal legislation concerning data protection related matters.

Prior public consultations are usually addressed to relevant organisations and bodies that will be directly affected by the newly proposed regulation, but in this particular case the collaboration is not limited to a specific list of participants. This implies that every individual, company, interested organisation and/or those affected by this matter, are welcome to participate. Participants are invited to state their opinions, doubts and recommendations in relation to the proposed regulations, without further limitations.

During the consultation, participants can send their comments and opinions to a specific mailbox provided by the Spanish Ministry of Justice: sg_politica.legislativa@mjusticia.es . The only formal requirement for participating is that the sender of the email is properly identified.

If you wish to participate in the consultation launched by the Spanish Ministry of Justice, or should you need assistance in order to comply with the provisions of the GDPR, please contact us and we will be glad to assist you.