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IRIS 2019-7:1/23


Media authority to work more closely with Data protection authority

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Gijs van Til

Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam

On April 23rd, 2019, the Commissariaat voor de Media (the Dutch Media Authority) and the Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens (the Dutch Data Protection Authority) announced that they are intensifying the level of their cooperation with each other and that they have accordingly agreed on a cooperation protocol. Their collaborative efforts will focus on supervision and enforcement in respect of media institutions. The aim of the protocol is to set out the relationship between the authorities in this context, and to improve transparency.

The general principles of the cooperation are set out in chapter two of the protocol. Article 3 provides that the authorities will endeavour to support and strengthen each other as much as possible by seeking cooperation in situations where this could enhance the effectiveness of enforcement and supervision measures undertaken by one or both organisation(s). To reach this goal, the protocol provides that the authorities shall meet regularly, and that the authorities shall both appoint contact persons.

Chapter 3 of the protocol addresses the exchange of information between the authorities. It provides in article 6 that the authorities shall inform each other of matters that may be relevant to the performance of the other party's statutory duties. In cases where both authorities can take enforcement action against a particular conduct, and/or cases where joint action is deemed desirable, the respective authorities should contact each other.  The confidentiality of the information exchanged between the authorities is addressed in article 7, while article 8 further details the modes of information exchange between the authorities.

To further implement the cooperation protocol, the fourth chapter opens the possibility for the authorities to conclude additional working arrangements. This chapter also indicates the fields in which such cooperation could take place, namely: the governance of public service media, profiling/filters/algorithms; unwanted advertising; the Internet; and broadcasters’ websites.

The protocol is effective as of 24 April 2019.

Samenwerkingsprotocol Commissariaat voor de Media en Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens, 23 April 2019, Staatscourant nr. 22141 NL
  Cooperation protocol Dutch Media Authority and Dutch Data Protection Authority, 23 April 2019, Government Gazette no. 22141