The Data Protection Authorities and the Liability for fines’ early warning

I do not understand the choice of some Personal Data Authorities to publicly anticipate the decision to fine a Data Controller instead of just doing it and then spread the news.

Indeed, many large companies are listed on the stock exchange or may suffer negative consequences from a simple announcement such as “we are thinking of fining…”. What happens, then, if the fine does not come or – worse – if it is cancelled following a judicial appeal? There will be a similar press-release that will say “we are deeply sorry, we were wrong, the judge turned us down?”

Now, if obviously it is not possible to ask for damages for the application (in good faith) of a fine then revoked by the judge, it is not automatically so for behavior that goes beyond the strict observance of the fining procedures.

Attention and care should be paid, therefore, to publicly anticipate decisions that are not definitive, especially without indicating the date when the appeal is no more allowed or the fact that the owner has challenged the fine in Court.

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