For various reasons, all kinds of data about you are recorded regularly, both solicited and unsolicited. The energy company keeps track of how much gas and electricity you use and when you pay. The library keeps track of which books you borrow. If you want to take out a health insurance or life insurance policy, you must answer a list of questions about your health. In the income tax return form, the tax authorities will ask you for detailed information about your income, your assets, your debts, etc. In order to be eligible for a benefit, you must provide details of your employment history, the last salary received, etc.
The information that you provide to various agencies or organizations is usually stored in computers. This makes them easy to process and available for different bodies or people. Thanks to computers, the government can efficiently carry out numerous complex laws and provide the best service to the citizen. Private organizations and companies can also work more efficiently through automated data processing. But at the same time it has become less easy for you to find out what data has been recorded for you by (government) organizations and companies, what these data are used for and to whom they are passed on.
The data recorded about you must be accurate and complete. In principle, they should only be used for the purpose you provided them for. Some data you want to be treated confidentially, that they are only recorded by the person or body that needs them and that they are not distributed further than necessary. After all, it is your personal data.
To promote that your personal details are treated with care and to enable you to check that yourself, a special law has been drawn up.
Since 1 July 1989 the Personal Records Act (WPR) has been in force. 1 that law lays down rules for the registration and use of personal data by government institutions, private organizations and companies. The WPR specifies the rights of someone who has recorded data in a file and what the duties are of the bodies or companies that use such a file. A number of provisions in the WPR have been further elaborated in decisions.
The WPR is about registrations in which personal data have been recorded. These may be your name, your date of birth and your address, but your bank balance, your profession, your nationality, your political convictions and data about your health. Personal data are all data that says something about you and that can influence how you are assessed or treated. A personal registration is a collection of data from several persons, which is arranged according to a certain system. For example, the client administration of a company, medical records of a hospital and the file of house hunters in a municipality. In most cases it will be an automated registration (a computer file). But the provisions of the WPR also apply to a card box. The registry holder is the (government) organization, the company or the person who conducts the personal registration and who is responsible for the use of the data. The registered persons are the persons about whom data has been recorded.
The WPR states that personal data may only be recorded for a specific purpose. These data must have been obtained lawfully and may only be transferred to the authorities and persons for whom they are intended. The WPR gives the registered person the right to register the data recorded about him.
Purpose of the personal registration
A personal registration may only be used for a specific purpose. That goal may not be contrary to the law, public order or good morals and the holder of the registration must also have a reasonable interest in it. The government and semi-government organizations may only register a personal registration if this is necessary for the proper performance of their duties.
An organization or institution that maintains a personal registration for a specific purpose may only record data that is necessary for that purpose. For example, the energy company will record in your account administration your name and address and your energy consumption, your bank or giro account number and payment details. More information is not required to send you the correct invoice on time and more information may not be included in the registration of the energy company.
For example, Bali Vakantie Verhuur/Bali Rent Villa’s will only mention / save your names, ages, address, telephone number and, if applicable, your bank number, ibannumber / Biccode. No authority will be passed on other than their relevant information.
Data recorded for a specific purpose may in principle only be used for that purpose. They may be provided to others if that arises from the goal. For example, your general practitioner may not pass on medical data about you to a manufacturer of medicines, but to a medical specialist who is involved in your treatment.
Even if it does not result from the goal, the WPR allows in a number of cases that data recorded about you in a personal registration will be provided to others: if there is a legal requirement that obliges you to do so or if you yourself consent to it gives.
Rights of the registered
The WPR gives the registered person a number of rights so that he can check which data is recorded about him and what happens to that data.
Right of inspection and notification
You can request each holder of a personal registration (such as the social service, a bank or an insurance company) to inform you whether he has recorded data about you. You can ask for a copy of those data that also indicates where they came from. The registration holder must respond to your request in writing within 4 weeks. If information about you is first included in a personal registration, the holder of that registration must inform you of his own accord, unless you already knew or could reasonably have known. If you place an order with a company, you know that your name, address and place of residence will be registered.
Right to correction or removal
If after inspection it appears that the data recorded about you in personal registration are not correct or incomplete, you can request the registration holder to correct or supplement that data. If you believe that a personal registration contains information about you that does not belong there (because they are not necessary for the purpose of the registration), you can request the registration holder to delete this data. The registration holder must respond to your request in writing within eight weeks.
Right to information about distribution to others
You can request the registration holder to inform you of the authorities or persons he has provided information about you during the past year. Your request must be answered in writing within four weeks.
You must address a request for access, inspection, correction, deletion or information about distribution to others to the registration holder. These may be: mayor and aldermen of your municipality, the director of your bank, the management of the insurance company, etc. It is advisable first to contact (by telephone) the organization or institution concerned about the way in which you request can submit. Some institutions have special forms for this. The registration holder must respond to your request within four weeks. If you submit a request for inspection or information to others, the registration-holder can ask you for a reimbursement for the costs incurred of a maximum of 10 euros.
If you make a request for access to the personal data recorded about you, you must prove that you are indeed the person whose data you wish to view. After all, it is not the intention that others view your data or that you have access to the data of others. So make sure you include your full name and initials in your letter, your date of birth and your complete address. The registration holder may also ask you to enclose a copy of your driving license, passport or other proof of identity.
If the registration holder does not respond to your request within the period of four weeks or you are not satisfied with the response, you can submit a request to the Registratiekamer at the latest eight weeks later to mediate. To handle your request, it is important that the Registratiekamer has sufficient information: explain in a letter what is going on and include copies of the correspondence you have made with the relevant authority. No costs are involved in processing your request by the Registratiekamer.
You can also submit disputes to the court, for example if a registration holder provides information about you to others in violation of the law. In that case, it is advisable to ask for advice from a legal assistance office or a lawyer.