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The Danish Data Protection Agency has reported a large Danish taxi company to the police for violation of GDPR rules

23.05.2019

The Danish Data Protection Agency has reported the taxi company, Taxi 4x35, to the police and recommended the company for a fine of DKK 1.2 million (approximately EUR 160.000) for violating the rules of the Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The Agency carried out an inspection of the company in October 2018 and noted that Taxa 4x35 did not comply with the rules in the Regulation in several regards, including whether the company set deadlines for deleting customer information - and whether the deadlines were observed. 

This is the first time that the Data Protection Agency recommends fining a Danish company according to the rules in the Data Protection Regulati

Breach of GDPR-regulation

The non-compliance with the Regulation primarily consisted in failing to delete customer information. The Danish Data Protection assessed that the person- attributable information of the taxi rides was stored without a factual purpose. 

According to Taxa 4x35 the information, which was used for the order placing and completion of taxi rides, is anonymized after two years, since the need of being able to identify the customer was no longer present. However, only the customer’s name was deleted after two years but not the customer's telephone number. Information about the customer's taxi ride (including location of pick up- and final destination) could therefore still be attributed to a person via the telephone number, which was not deleted until after five years. 

At the time of the Agency’s compliance visit, the amount of person-attributable taxi rides was determined to 8,873,333, which all dated more than two years back.

Assessment by The Danish Data Protection Agency  

The company justified the retention of telephone numbers with the necessity of product and business development. Further, the customer's telephone number was essential when using the database of the company. 

However, according to the Danish Data Protection Agency, a company decide on a retention period, which is three years longer than necessary, simply because the company's system makes it difficult to comply with the rules in the Data Protection Regulation.

The Danish Data Protection Agency emphasized in relation to the recommended fine that the amount of personal data stored without a factual purpose was very large. Furthermore, it was highlighted that one of the basic principles of GDPR is to only process information that is in fact needed and when the information is no longer needed, it must be deleted immediately and permanently. 

The next step in the case

In contrast to many of the other European supervisory authorities, The Danish Data Protection Agency does not have the possibility to issue administrative fines to companies that do not comply with the rules in the regulation. 

Hereafter the police must therefore decide whether to charge the company of the violation based on the recommendation from The Danish Data Protection Agency and finally the Court will decide on a potential proposed fine.

 

Article provided by: Dr. Claas Thöle (NJORD Advokatpartnerselskab)

 

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