The protection of our personal data is an increasingly serious matter and of which we are more aware. Thanks to the data protection regulations , companies and public administrations are obliged to guarantee the cyber security and privacy of our data, in addition, citizens have a series of rights regarding the use of our personal data, which we can exercise at any time
However, the fact that there is a law such as the data protection regulations does not guarantee that all entities or individuals comply with it or do so sufficiently, even ourselves, in an oversight, we can be responsible for a leak of our data. When this happens and we think that our personal data is being processed illegally or has been exposed
What to do when your personal data has been attacked?
As we said, there are different ways of proceeding, depending on the attack that has occurred on our personal data, since we may find ourselves facing a personal data breach by an entity or an individual or a fraudulent use of your data , as can occur if you have been the victim of a phishing attack.
In any case and, as we said above, if you have the assistance of a lawyer, he will tell you which is the most appropriate way to defend your rights and claim possible compensation if you have suffered any kind of damage.
If your claim of rights is not addressed
As users or interested parties, before a company or public entity that processes our personal data, we can exercise ARSULIPO rights (access, rectification, deletion, limitation, portability and opposition), it is the first step for any claim related to the treatment of our data. . When said company or entity does not attend to these requests or does so unsatisfactorily, we can proceed with the complaint before the AEPD .
The complaint process is, in itself, relatively simple, since we can present the written complaint both electronically and by sending it by post to the AEPD. However, its wording must be clear, concise and detail the violation or attack on our data that is the object of our complaint. This is where the assistance of a lawyer can help us.
In addition, we must also collect all the evidence that can help us document our complaint (screenshots, unanswered requests, etc.).
Once the complaint has been filed, the AEPD will investigate the facts to proceed with its resolution. In the event that the resolution is not satisfactory, we will have the opportunity to appeal it in replacement or before a Contentious-Administrative Court, where the assistance of a lawyer will be essential.
How to protect your personal data
It should be noted that if the resolution is satisfactory, that is, our rights over our personal data are answered, the AEPD may sanction the accused, although this sanction will be administrative, that is, we as complainants will not receive any amount.
Therefore, if, in addition to the administrative sanction, we want to claim compensation for the damages that the defendant may have caused us, we will have to file a lawsuit through the courts (through the competent jurisdiction, which will depend on the rights violated and whether the reported entity is public or private).
We must also take into account that, in the event that one of our fundamental rights has been violated due to the inadequate or fraudulent treatment of our personal data, such as the right to image or honor, we can also report it through criminal proceedings, presenting the corresponding complaint.
If it is an individual who violates your personal data
We already know how to act if it is an entity that misuses our personal data or does not attend to our rights claims. But what happens when it is an individual who attacks our personal data?
This situation can occur, for example, with neighbors who install security cameras on the landing or pointing to our home or when someone spreads our images (or other personal data) through social networks.
In these cases, if the individual does not respond to our request to cease the violation of our personal data, we can also report it to the AEPD or to the police or the court, especially if our fundamental rights are being violated (remember that the dissemination of images in which we can be recognized without our consent, may constitute not only an infringement of data protection regulations, but also a criminal offence).
As in the previous case, the assistance of a lawyer will help us both in the presentation of the complaint, complaint or lawsuit (it will depend on the way chosen to report the facts) as well as in its follow-up and, if necessary or possible, its resource.
If you are the victim of a personal data breach
When a breach of personal data occurs, that is, it is leaked, either as a result of a security breach or as a result of our own carelessness (such as the aforementioned phishing attack), it is possible that our personal data can be used to commit unlawful acts on our behalf. This occurs, especially, in cases of identity theft, which can bring legal consequences for their victims.
Let’s say, for example, that someone uses a copy of our ID to open bank accounts, apply for loans or carry out any other scam. By using our data, any complaint will go against us.
In these cases it is essential to inform the authorities that our personal data has been stolen, reporting it to the police or the court, providing the evidence we can gather for it.
Initially, the presentation of this complaint does not require the help of a lawyer, but in the case of having to prove that we are not responsible for the possible crimes committed by whoever has supplanted our identity, we will need your assistance, especially if these cases go to court. In any case, the report of personal data theft will be essential to prove that we are also one more victim.
We must also report these thefts of personal data, when they may have other consequences, such as the theft of money from our bank accounts or the theft of credentials and user accounts on the Internet.
In short, in the event of an attack on your personal data, do not hesitate and report it to the corresponding authorities, especially when your rights are ignored or your fundamental rights are being violated or you have been the victim of a data leak.
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