CMS Expert Guide: Data Law Navigator

Data protection

1. Local data protection laws and scope

  • Federal Law No. 152-FZ dated 27 July 2006 “On Personal Data” (the “Data Protection Law”)
  • Labour Code of the Russian Federation (for personal data of employees)

Law n. 9887 dated 10 March 2008 “On protection of personal data”.

This law shall apply to the processing of personal data, wholly or partly by automatic means and to the processing by other means of a personal data stored in a filing system, or intended to form part of a filing system. 

This law shall apply to the processing of personal data by:

  1. controllers established in the Republic of Albania;
  2. diplomatic missions or consular offices of the Albanian state;
  3. controllers who are not established in the Republic of Albania, making use of any equipment situated in the Republic of Albania; 

In circumstances stipulated in point 3, the controller designates a representative established in the territory of Albania. Stipulations of this law applying to controllers are also applicable to their representatives. This law applies also to the public authorities that process personal data.

This law is not applicable to processing of data: 

  • by a natural person for purely personal or family purposes;

only in case the information is provided about public officials or public (state) administration servants, reflecting their public, administrative activities or issues related to their duties.

2. Data protection authority

  • The Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation (Minkomsvyaz)
  • The Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technology and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor)

The Commissioner for the Right to Information and Protection of Personal Data is the independent authority in charge of supervising and monitoring the protection of personal data and the right to information by respecting and guaranteeing the fundamental human rights and freedoms in compliance with the law.

3. Anticipated changes to local laws

Russia has signed an Amending Protocol updating the Council of Europe Convention No. 108 for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data. The Data Protection Law is expected to be amended to comply with the Convention. For example, a breach notification obligation should be introduced, as well as genetic data – a new category of sensitive personal data.
In March 2021, new rules regarding the dissemination of personal data and the use of publicly available personal data come into force. In particular, all data controllers will:

  • Have to obtain a separate and specific consent to make personal data publicly available; and
  • Bear the burden of proof that their processing of publicly available data is lawful.

In addition, increase of administrative fines is actively discussed in public.

Law no. 48/2012 "On some additions and changes to the law no. 9887, dated 10 March 2008" On the protection of personal data", dated 08 May 2012.

Law no. 120/2014 "On some additions and changes to the law no. 9887, dated 10 March 2008" On the protection of personal data", dated 18 September 2014.

4. Sanctions & non-compliance

Administrative sanctions:
  • Failure to obtain a written consent of a personal data subject – fine of RUB 15,000 to RUB 75,000 (EUR 165 to EUR 835);
  • Processing personal data without proper legal grounds – warning or fine of RUB 30,000 to RUB 50,000 (EUR 335 to EUR 555);
  • Failure to inform a data subject on processing his personal data – warning or fine of RUB 20,000 to RUB 40,000 (EUR 220 – EUR 445);
  • Failure to publish a personal data processing policy – warning or fine of RUB 15,000 to RUB 30,000 (EUR 165 to EUR 335);
  • Failure to file a notification with the Roskomnadzor – warning or fine of RUB 3,000 to RUB 5,000 (EUR 35 to EUR 55);
  • Failure to amend, block access to or destroy personal data at the legitimate request of a data subject or competent authority – warning or fine of RUB 25,000 to RUB 45,000 (EUR 280 to EUR 500);
  • Breach of the localisation requirement – fine of from RUB 1m (EUR 11,150) to RUB 6m (EUR 66,800), and for repeated violations from RUB 6m (EUR 66,800) to RUB 18m (EUR 200,450). Also, blocking the website based on a court ruling is possible
Criminal sanctions:

In serious cases, unlawful data processing may also be deemed as illegal collection and distribution of information on the private life of a person. The Russian Criminal Code provides that such violations are punishable with a fine, compulsory works or imprisonment.

Others: 

Data subjects can file a civil court action against a data controller to seek compensation for damages caused by the illegal processing of personal data. 

Cases of data processing in contradiction with the provisions of this law do not constitute any criminal offence and are subject to a fine. The Fines shall be imposed by the Commissioner when he finds that the obligations set forth in the law are infringed.

5. Registration / notification / authorisation

Data controllers should file a notification with the Roskomnadzor before commencing processing, except for a number of exemptions provided by the Data Protection Law. The notification contains general description regarding data processing activities and protective measures. 

In case of any changes in processing activities, such changes shall be also notified to the Roskomnadzor.  

Registration and the notification must contain the following information:

  • name and address of the controller;
  • the purpose of processing personal data;
  • categories of data subjects and categories of personal data;
  • recipients and categories of recipients of personal data;
  • the proposal for international transfers that the controller intends to carry out;
  • a general description of the measures for the security of personal data (this is not part of the registration)
The responsibility to notify

Every controller shall notify the Commissioner about the processing of personal data for which he is responsible. The notification shall be made before the controller processes the data for the first time, or when a change of the processing notification status is required.

The processing of personal data the sole purpose of which is to keep a record, which in accordance with the law or sub-legal acts provides information for the public in general, is exempted from the obligation to notify the processing of data. Data that are processed for the purpose of protection of the constitutional institutions, interests of national security, foreign policy, economic or financial interests of the state, prevention or prosecution of the criminal offences are exempted from the obligation to notify. 

Other cases on which notification is not necessary are established under a decision of the Commissioner.

6. Main obligations and processing requirements

Data controllers must justify data processing by one of the legal grounds provided for in the Data Protection Law. Data subject consent is a most common legal ground for data processing. Other common grounds include performance of an agreement with a data subject or complying with statutory obligations. 

The law requires data controllers to make the following main steps:

  • Define categories of personal data
  • Purposes and duration of processing;
  • Obtain a data subject's consent (unless other data processing ground applies);
  • Appoint a data protection officer, adopt a data protection policy and take appropriate security measures to prevent Unauthorised processing;
  • Notify Roskomnadzor on the commencing of data processing.
  • Localisation rules require that data controllers, when collecting personal data, initially process personal data of Russian citizens on servers physically located in Russia.

Protection of personal data is based on: 

  • processing that is fair and lawful; 
  • a collection for specific, clearly defined and legitimate purposes and shall be processed in a way that is compatible with these purposes; 
  • adequate data, which are relevant to the purpose of their processing and not excessive in relation to such purpose; 
  • accurate data, and where necessary, updated; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that data which are inaccurate or incomplete, having regard to the purposes for which they were collected or for which they are further processed, are erased or rectified;
  • keeping data in a form that allows the identification of data subjects for no longer than it is necessary for the purpose for which they were collected or further processed;

The controller is in charge of applying these requirements to all kinds of processing of data, be it automatically or by other means.

The personal data may be processed only if:

  • Personal data subject has given his or her consent;
  • Processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is party or in order to negotiate or amend a draft/contract at the request of the data subject;
  • in order to protect the vital interests of the data subject;
  • to comply with a legal obligation of the controller;
  • for the performance of a legal task of public interest or in exercise of powers of the controller or of a third party to whom the data are disclosed;
  • processing is necessary for the protection of the legitimate rights and interests of the controller, the recipient or any other interested party. However, in any case, the processing of personal data cannot be in clear contradiction with the data subject’s right to protection of personal life and privacy.

Processing of personal data in the framework of crime prevention and prosecution activities, in cases of a criminal offence against the public order and other violations in the field of criminal law, defence and national security, shall be performed by official authorities as stipulated in the law. 

In the event, the controller or processor may carry out personal data processing for the purpose of offering business opportunities or services provided that the data were taken from a public list of data. 

The controller or processor cannot process any further the data specified in this paragraph, if the data subject has expressed his or her disagreement or has objected to further processing. No additional personal data may be attached to the data specified above without the consent of the data subject. 
The controller is allowed to keep the personal data in its own filing system.

Such data can only be used if the data subject gives his or her consent.

The collection of personal data which is related to a data subject solely for reasons of direct marketing is allowed only if the data subject has given his or her explicit consent.

Obligations of the Controller and Processor:

  • obligation to inform;
  • obligation to rectify and erase;
  • obligations of the Processor.

7. Data subject rights

Under the Data Protection Law, a data subject has the right to:

  • request details of the processing of his/her personal data by a data controller (what data is being processed and why, etc.);
  • revoke his/her consent to the data processing at any time;
  • object to data processing;
  • request, in certain cases, the rectification, blocking or deletion of his/her personal data; and/or
  • be compensated for damages, including for moral harm.
  • The right to access;
  • right to request blocking, rectification and erasure;
  • automated decision;
  • right of the data subject to refuse;
  • right to complain;
  • compensation for damage.

8. Processing by third parties

To transfer personal data to third parties, the consent of a personal data subject is normally required. Data controller and data processor should also enter into the respective agreement instructing data processor to process personal data on behalf of the data controller.

Third parties, being data processors, must comply with the same legal requirements and obligations as data operators and data processing rules. The data controller is liable for acts or omissions of third parties acting under its authorisation, while the respective third parties are liable to the controller for data breach.

Processing by third parties is not allowed.

9. Transfers out of country

The Data Protection Law distinguishes two types of cross-border data transfer:

  • Transfer of data to countries with adequate protection of personal data (“Safe Countries”); and
  • Transfer of data to countries without adequate protection of personal data (“Unsafe Countries”). 

Safe Countries comprise signatories to the Strasbourg Convention of 28 January 1981 or countries that are included into the specific safe countries list of Roskomnadzor (includes Canada and Australia among others).  

Requirements of the Data Protection Law apply to the transfer of personal data to the Safe Countries, i.e. the data controller can justify such transfer by any applicable ground. 

Transfer to the Unsafe Countries (for example, the US) requires an additional qualified consent of the data subject, unless an exception applies.

International transfer 

The international transfer of personal data is allowed for recipients from states which have an adequate level of personal data protection. The level of personal data protection for a state is established by assessing all circumstances related to nature, purpose and duration of the processing, country of origin and final destination, legal provisions and security standards in force in the recipient state. States that have an adequate level of data protection are assessed under a decision by the Commissioner. International transfer of personal data with a state that does not have an adequate level of personal data protection may be carried out when: 

  • it is authorised by international acts ratified by the Republic of Albania and are directly applicable; 
  • the data subject has given his or her consent for the international transfer; 
  • the transfer is necessary for the performance of a contract between the data subject and the controller or for the implementation of pre-contractual measures taken in addressing the data subject’s request, or the transfer is necessary for the conclusion or performance of a contract between the controller and a third party, in the interest of the data subject;
  • it is a legal obligation of the controller; 
  • it is necessary for protecting vital interests of the data subject; 
  • it is necessary or constitutes a legal requirement over an important public interest or for exercising and protecting a legal right;
  • transfer is done from a register that is open for consultation and provides information to the general public. 

Exchange of personal data to the diplomatic representations of foreign governments or international institutions in the Republic of Albania shall be considered an international transfer of data. 

International transfer of data that need to be authorized 

In cases other than those provided herein, the international transfer of personal data with a state that does not have an adequate level of data protection, shall be carried out upon an authorisation from the Commissioner, if adequate safeguards are foreseen with respect to the protection of the privacy and fundamental human rights and freedoms, as well as regarding the exercise of the corresponding rights. 

The Commissioner, after making an assessment, under the specification provided herein may give authorisation to transfer personal data to the recipient State by defining conditions and obligations. 

The Commissioner issues instructions in order to allow certain categories of personal data international transfer to a state that does not have an adequate level of personal data protection. In these cases, the controller is exempted from the authorisation request. 

The controller shall submit a request for authorisation to the Commissioner prior to the data transfer. In the authorisation request, the controller shall guarantee the observance of the interests of the data subject to protection of confidentiality outside the Republic of Albania.

10. Data Protection Officer

A data protection officer shall be appointed and notified to Roskomnadzor.

The Commissioner.

11. Security

According to the law, personal data must be protected against unauthorised access, alteration, transfer, disclosure by transfer or deletion as well as damage and accidental destruction. In order to ensure the security of personal data, the data controller must, in particular:

  • Adopt policies on data processing;
  • Appoint data protection officer;
  • Determine the level of damage which may be caused in the event of unauthorised processing of personal data; and
  • Establish rules relating to access to personal data. 

The controller or the processor shall take appropriate organisational and technical measures in order to protect personal data from unlawful or accidental destruction, accidental loss, from access or disclosure to unauthorised persons, especially when the processing of data takes place in a network, as well as from any other unlawful form of processing. 

The controller shall take the following special security measures: 

  • defines the functions of the organisational units and those of the operators as regards the use of data;
  • data shall be used with the order of authorised organizational units or operators; 
  • instructs all operators concerning their obligations, in conformity with this law and the internal regulations on data protection, including the regulations on data security;
  • Prohibits access of unauthorised persons to the working facilities of the data controller or processors;
  • data and programmes shall be accessed only by authorised persons;
  • Prohibits access to the filing system and their use by unauthorised persons; 
  • Operation of the data processing equipment shall be carried out upon authorisation and every device shall be secured with preventive measures against unauthorised operation;
  • records and documents the alteration, rectification, erasure, transfer, etc. 

The controller is obliged to document the technical and organisational measures adjusted and implemented to ensure protection of personal data in compliance with the law and other legal regulations. 

The data recorded shall not be used for different purposes which are not compliant with the purpose of collection. Acquaintance with or processing of the data registered in files for a purpose other than the right to enter the data shall be prohibited. In case data are used to guarantee national security, public security, for prevention or investigation of a criminal offence, or prosecution of the author thereof, or of any infringement of ethics for the regulated professions, it is exempted from this rule. Documentation of the data shall be kept for as long as it is necessary for the purpose for which they were collected.

The security level shall be in compliance with the nature of personal data processing. Detailed rules on data security shall be specified by decision of the Commissioner. Procedures for the administration of the data registration, data entry, their processing and disclosure shall be regulated by a decision of the Commissioner.

Controllers, processors and persons who come to know the content of the processed data while exercising their duty, shall remain under obligation of confidentiality and credibility even after termination of their functions. These data shall not be disclosed save when otherwise provided by law. Everyone acting under the authority of the controller or the processor shall not process the personal data to which he or she has access, without the authorisation of the controller, unless it is mandatory by law.

12. Breach notification

Currently there is no mandatory requirement to report data breaches to data subjects or to Roskomnadzor. 

N/A

13. Direct marketing

The prior consent of the individual to use his personal data is required for direct marketing purposes.

Collection of personal data that is related to a data subject solely for reasons of direct marketing is allowed only if the data subject has given his explicit consent.

The data subject has the right to ask the controller not to start processing, or if processing has started, to stop the processing of personal data related to him or her for the purposes of direct marketing and to be informed in advance before personal data are disclosed for first time for such purpose.

14. Cookies and adtech

The Data Protection Law does not define "cookies". However, under some circumstances cookies were considered by courts as personal data.

Adtech is also not defined, and general rules regarding marketing and data processing apply.

N/A

15. Risk scale

Moderate.

Moderate

Cybersecurity

1. Local cybersecurity laws and scope

Federal Law of 26 July 2017 No. 187-FZ On Security of Critical Informational Infrastructure of the Russian Federation (“the Law”).

Law n. 2/2017 “For Cyber Security”, dated 09.02.2017

2. Anticipated changes to local laws

Adoption of administrative fines is expected.

There are no anticipated changes to local laws.

3. Application 

The Law sets out requirements for ensuring security of critical informational infrastructure in the healthcare, science, transportation, communication, banking, financial services, energy, nuclear energy, defence, aerospace, mining, iron and steel and chemicals sectors.

This law is applied to communication networks and information systems, the violation or destruction of which would affect the health, safety, wealth of citizens and the effective functioning of the economy in the Republic of Albania.

Excluded from the application of this law are electronic communications networks and information systems that are subject to legal regulations in force for electronic signature, electronic identification and trusted services, electronic communications networks and information systems that process, archive or transmit classified information of the state, as well as electronic communications networks and information systems, as far as it is provided in the legislation on electronic communications in the Republic of Albania.

4. Authority

The Federal Service for Technical and Export control: https://fstec.ru/en/

The Federal Security Service: http://www.fsb.ru/ (Russian only)

The National Computer Security Agency (ALCIRT) is the central authority for identifying, anticipating and taking measures to protect against computer threats and attacks, in accordance with applicable law.

5. Key obligations 

  • Requirement to establish and maintain a security system.
  • Obligation to assess and assign a level of importance to critical infrastructure, subject to notification to the authority in charge.
  • Obligation to develop a plan of reacting to cybersecurity incidents.
  • Mandatory reporting of all incidents threatening the security of the critical infrastructure.
  • Assessment of security level.

The responsible authority has the following competencies in the field of cyber security:

  • to determine cybersecurity measures;
  • to act as a central point of contact at the national level for the responsible operators in the field of cybersecurity and to coordinate the work to solve cybersecurity issues;
  • to manage incident reports in the cybersecurity sector and ensure their storage and registration;
  • to provide methodological assistance and support to the responsible operators in the field of cybersecurity;
  • to analyse for weaknesses in the field of internet security;
  • to perform awareness and education activities in the field of cybersecurity;
  • to act in the capacity of the national CSIRT.

The Authority coordinates its activities with security and defence institutions and cooperates with sectoral CSIRTs and international authorities in the cybersecurity sector, through joint agreements, in accordance with applicable law.

6. Sanctions & non-compliance 

Criminal sanctions:
  • Creation and use of computer programmes initially intended for illegal effect on the critical information infrastructure, including for deletion, blockage, modification, copying of information – imprisonment for up to five years with fine of up to RUB 1mn (EUR 13,300);
  • Illegal access to protected computer information contained in the critical information infrastructure – imprisonment for up to six years with fine of up to RUB 1m (EUR 13,300);
  • Breach of exploitation rules of means of storage, processing or transfer of protected computer information or access to information systems contained in the critical information infrastructure, if it caused harm – imprisonment for up to six years with or without deprivation from profession for up to three years. 
  • If the above crimes are committed by a group of people collusively – imprisonment for up to eight years with or without removal from the profession for up to three years.
  • If the above crimes caused severe consequences – imprisonment for up to ten years with or without removal from the profession for up to five years. 
  • Corrective measures;
  • Administrative offences;
  • Administrative sanctions.

7. Is there a national computer emergency response team (CERT) or computer security incident response team (CSIRT)? 

A National Coordination Centre for Computer Incidents (NCCCI) created by the Federal Security Service.

Yes.

8. National cybersecurity incident management structure

Critical informational infrastructure subjects shall inform the Federal Security Service (NCCCI) about all cybersecurity incidents and about measures taken. The information shall be submitted within three hours (for significant objects) or 24 hours (for other objects) of when an incident is revealed.

Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) comprise computer security specialists at each operator that manages critical information infrastructure.

9. Other cybersecurity initiatives 

N/A

With NATO membership and progress towards EU membership, Albania is increasingly participating in European cybersecurity initiatives and programmes.

Initiatives in the Field of Information Society in SNSHI (Intersectoral Strategy for the Information Society), are as follows:

  • Keeping children safe online and encouraging and coordinating the process for codes of conduct
  • Establishment of the National Agency for Computer Security (ALCIRT)
  • Establishment of PKI (public key government infrastructure) infrastructure and provision of secure services
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