Privacy and protection of business information

Invasion of your privacy and trade secrets

Situations in daily life:

  • Your systems have been hacked. As a result, unauthorized persons have been able to access the personal data of your employees and customers;
  • Your employee has accidentally provided personal data to a third party. As a result, the interest of the concerned person has been harmed, and the safety of that person could even be at risk;
  • Your client would like to inspect his file or would like the data to be destroyed, but due to the privacy interest of your employees, it is uncertain whether you can do this; and
  • Your competitor illegitimately possesses your strategic business plans, market research studies and customer bases. For example, a former employee uses these work approaches and methods at his new employer, or as a freelancer.

First Lawyers will assist in protecting your legal position in all these situations.

Assistance in handling data breaches

Usually, a company is not blamed by a supervisory authority for an accidental unauthorised security breach during the processing of personal data by an employee or agent of the company, or for any security breach of that data by an unauthorised third party, since this can always happen and it is not seen as the commitment of violation. However, it is essential that you are able to demonstrate that all legally required measures have been taken and that the effective operations of these measures have been checked regularly. Also, it is essential to report data breaches in a timely manner to the Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP) and, where appropriate, to persons and companies involved.

Therefore, in case of a data breach, it is crucial to determine which processing operations of personal data have been affected and what the assessed risks are for the protection of everyone involved. AP can impose a fine if the company does not report the breach within 72 hours. First Lawyers provides advice on how to proceed and could provide support.

Enforcement action by the AP may follow after the reporting of the data breach. First Lawyers can conduct an assessment to determine whether your company is sufficiently prepared for such an enforcement action and can discuss and implement additional measures if necessary. Also, your legal position can be assessed.

Petition to court for inspection or destruction of personal data

A client or dismissed employee has submitted a request to view their personal data, but your company has not complied with this request due to motivating reasons. However, the client or dismissed employee is unsatisfied and applies to court for the request to be honored.

First Lawyers assesses the legal chances of having the request honored through court and whether it makes sense to wait for a court decision. Subsequently, if it is decided to ask for a court decision, First Lawyers will assist in such a legal proceeding.

Strike of company data breach

The Trade Secrets Protection Act (WBB) offers means to prevent the unlawful acquisition, disclosure or use of company data and trade secrets. According to law, trade secrets include business information and undisclosed know-how. Together, it forms the intellectual property of a company. Examples of trade secrets are technological knowledge, business plans, customer bases, market research, and company-specific practices. In addition, the law assumes that every company has taken reasonable measures to protect the trade secrets, such as, non-disclosure agreements, agreements to protect trade secrets and the application of encryption.

First Lawyers assists if another person or company infringes your trade secret by asking the court to order that person or company — whether or not in a summary proceeding — to cease or prohibit this infringement and to order that party to pay compensation.

Submit your case

Please feel free to contact one of our lawyers or call +31 (0) 70 306 00 33 or