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Belgian DPA to take down .be websites infringing GDPR

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Protocol DNS-APD|Protocole DNS-APD|Infographic-protocol-DNS-DPA-by-Admeet

The Belgian Data Protection Authority and DNS Belgium have recently published their cooperation protocol. The Belgian DPA is the authority that ensures that the basic principles of the protection of personal data are protected within Belgium. DNS Belgium on the other hand is responsible for the operational and administrative management of the .be, .vlaanderen and .brussels domain name zones. Their cooperation will be visible in two main areas.

Both DNS Belgium and the Belgian DPA are very sensitive to the GDPR compliance of the processing of personal data on the Internet in general, and on the websites of the .be domain name zone in particular.

Areas of cooperation

The first area is information sharing, meaning DNS Belgium will deliver information to the Inspection Service of the Belgian DPA, whenever the Inspection Service deems this to be helpful in one of their investigative acts.

The second, and more impactful area, is the expansion of the existing “Notice & Action”-procedure of DNS Belgium. This expansion will allow the Belgian DPA to request DNS Belgium to redirect a certain domain name to a warning page, or even revoke to domain in a later stage.

The access to this procedure is a result of the competence of the Belgian DPA (specifically their Inspection Service and Litigation Chamber) to (temporarily) suspend, limit or freeze a data processing. However, a few strict criteria need to be met:

  • the processing needs to be exercised via a website linked to a .be-domain;
  • the processing needs to be a serious and deliberate breach of the law;
  • the controller or processor did not comply with the official order by the Belgian DPA to suspend, limit of freeze the data processing;
  • the Belgian DPA has exhausted all other measures to stop the misuse (final resort).


How does the Notice & Action procedure work?

Considering the potential impact of the measure, it is clear that a foolproof procedure is of the utmost importance. To render the procedure a bit clearer for all of us, we have converted it into a simplified infographic.

What will the future bring?

The protocol goes into effect on December 1st 2020. In the future the cooperation might be extended to the .vlaanderen and .brussels domain names as well.

This protocol also means that having a fully compliant website is more important than ever.

Want to know more? You can find the full protocol here in Dutch or French.