Privacy / Telecom

Privacy and telecommunications are subjects that attract ever more attention. Big data, social media, behavioral targeting, the internet of things, net neutrality: the field of privacy and telecommunications is full of buzzwords and hot topics.  Technical developments allow for interesting, new business models and socially relevant applications.

In the Netherlands, data protection is regulated in the Personal Data Protection Act (Wet bescherming persoonsgegevens), an implementation of the European Privacy Directive. The Dutch Personal Data Protection Authority (College Bescherming Persoonsgegevens) monitors observance of the Personal Data Protection Act. The European legislature is busy reviewing the current legal framework to allow for directly applicable regulations on data protection. That data protection is no longer a paper tiger becomes clear from the penalty amounts included in the draft regulation, which allows fines up to EUR 100,000,000.

The Telecommunication Act contains the relevant rules for the telecommunications sector. These include rules pertaining to radio, television and telephony, as well as rules regarding spam, cookies and net neutrality. Allocation of rare frequencies are also part of this law.  Telecommunication services face all kinds of different forms of enforcement and can become involved in various legal disputes. The Netherlands Telecommunications Agency and the Dutch Authority for Consumers & Markets are responsible for the administrative enforcement of, for instance, the Telecommunication Act and are able to impose sanctions.

We advise companies and organizations about privacy and telecommunications and support them during investigations and in regulatory enforcement procedures. Examples of what we do for clients include:

  • data mapping and privacy compliance projects;
  • drawing up agreements such as data processing agreements and Binding Corporate Rules;
  • advising on data leaks and security issues;
  • organizing trans-Atlantic data streams;
  • sending commercial messages and behavioral marketing;
  • issuing user/customer data to investigative agencies and other third parties;
  • the use of cookies and personal details for online advertisement purposes and the relationship between the different parties involved in this process;
  • drafting or advising on reactions to consultations;
  • assistance in information requests and company visits by regulators. [We can have a team ready to assist you during a company visit at your request];
  • representation in opinion and objection procedures in the event of non-compliance;
  • lodging appeals with the administrative court.

Our clients vary from B2C internet service providers, such as ISPs, telecommunication providers, social media platforms, OTT service providers, and advertisement network providers, retailers and radio and television stations.

The specialists at bureau Brandeis have many years of experience in complex compliance matters in the field of data protection and telecommunications, and as many in litigating in these areas. bureau Brandeis’ specialists combine excellent legal skills with a pragmatic style.

Our specialists

Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm

Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm is partner of bureau Brandeis. He specialises in digital copyright, the liability of intermediaries, privacy and free speech issues. He is both a trusted advisor to his clients such as KPN, Netflix…

Full profile

“Surveillance reforms protect economic interests too”

Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm / 11 Dec 2013

Eight American technology companies sent an open letter to the Obama administration to ask for government surveillance reforms. The group – consisting of Facebook, Google and Microsoft, among others – asks to limit government authorities…


New iPhone uses fingerprint as password

Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm / 14 Sep 2013

Dutch TV-show PowNews asked us about Apple’s new iPhone 5S. It will have the possibility to use your fingerprint as a password for the phone and the iTunes store. From minute 2:17 on, you can…

Case law

Court of Justice: Data Retention Directive is invalid

bureau Brandeis / 08 Apr 2014

Today, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the so-called Data Retention Directive (2006/24/EC) is invalid. According to the Court, the Directive constitutes a serious interference with the right to private life and…

Read all articles


- Louis Brandeis