Ruling could have major implications for data protection

Carter Lemon Camerons’ commercial partner Stuart Brennan has said that a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) could have important implications for data protection laws.

The Luxembourg-based court has ruled in favour of the Hungarian data protection authority, which had been locked in a dispute with Weltimmo, a Slovakian property website.

The ECJ decided that if a company runs a service in the native language of a country and has representatives based there, then it is bound by that nation’s data protection agency – even if its headquarters are in fact elsewhere.

In the case in question, Weltimmo may now have to pay fines imposed by Hungary for breaching their data protection laws.

However, there could be far wider repercussions for companies who operate in multiple jurisdictions across the 28 nation bloc.

Prior to the judgment, it was widely assumed that organisations would only be subject to the regulations of the country where they were headquartered.

Some have raised concerns that the landmark ruling may lead to a significant increase in compliance costs.

Companies that need advice about data protection laws should contact our Commercial team.