Turkey adopts law on privacy of personal information

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A draft law on protection of personal information of citizens went into effect on Thursday after approved in the Turkish Parliament.

According to the new law that was published in the Official Gazette on Thusrday, personal information of an individual will not be used without open consent of the individual. Individuals’ personal information will not be shared with international parties only when it is for the benefit of Turkey and the individual himself.

The law would allow for the gathering of personal information by the state only when it is in the best interest of the public that such information be gathered — and only as long as there is legislation in place ensuring the confidentiality of such data. The bill would grant citizens the right to know whether at any point personal information about them had been recorded; the right to review any such data; and the right to demand correction in cases of erroneous, mistaken or inadequate data.

Parliament had been criticized for failing to pass a law on the privacy of personal information, which was among a series of amendment approved in a referendum in 2010. An article added to the Constitution in the amendment package in 2010 states “everyone shall be entitled to request the protection of personal information.”

The new law now updated the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), the Law on Acquisition of Information and the Law on the Protection of Personal Data to bring them in line with the Constitution.

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