Data Protection Enforcement in Greece

Administrative Remedies

The Data Protection Authority has the power to investigate complaints and cases; issue warnings with orders to cease any violation within a specific time limit; issue administrative fines ranging between €880.41 and €146,735.14; temporarily and definitively revoke permits (only for serious or repeated breaches); and order the destruction of files or a ban of the processing and the destruction, return or locking of the relevant personal data (only for serious or repeated breaches). Fines may be imposed in conjunction with an order for the revocation of permits and the destruction of files. The Data Protection Authority also has the power, among others, to proceed ex officio or following a complaint, to conduct administrative reviews regarding the infrastructure supporting the processing of data. It has the power to examine complaints of data subjects relating to the implementation of the Law on the Protection of Individuals with regard to the Processing of Personal Data (PIPPD); impose administrative sanctions and denounce any breach of the provisions of PIPPD to the competent administrative and judicial authorities. The DPA can also refer the case to the competent Public Prosecutor, in case criminal charges are involved.

Civil Remedies

Individuals can bring claims for compensation and material damages caused in breach of the PIPPD before the civil courts. The compensation amount payable for non-pecuniary damages caused in breach of the PIPPD is set at a minimum of €5,869.40, unless the data subject claims a lesser amount or the said breach was due to negligence.

Criminal Remedies

Fines range between €2,934 and €29,347 depending on the violation and up to 5 years imprisonment (or sometimes more under certain circumstances). DPA officers are deemed as special investigating officers having all the powers invested in them by the Code of Criminal Procedure. They are entitled to carry out a preliminary investigation, even without an order from the Public Prosecutor, in case of acts which are caught in flagrante delicto, a misdemeanor, or if there is a risk of any delay.

Other Remedies

Data subjects are entitled to object at any time to the processing of data relating to them. Such objections could contain correction, temporary non-use, locking, non-transfer or deletion

Selected Enforcement Actions / General Comments

Some examples of recent enforcement action since 2012 in Greece include:

  • €50,000 fine imposed on a financial institution due to a failure to safely destruct data files and violating the right to access of their data to data subjects;
  • €30,000 fine imposed on a private company for violating the right to object to data subjects;
  • €30,000 fine imposed on a financial institution for violating the obligation for lawful process of data (processing of non-accurate and not updated data) and the right to object to data subjects;
  • €30,000 fine imposed on a company providing telecommunication services for violating the right to object to data subjects and unlawful interconnection of files;
  • €15,000 fine imposed on a private company for violating the right of access of their data to data subjects; I €10,000 fine imposed for unlawful publication of sensitive data;
  • €4,000 fine imposed for violating the right to information of a data subject and
  • Greek Civil Courts decisions adjudicated to data subjects amounts from €3,000 up to €15,000 for moral damages caused by the violation of the PIPPD.