Data Protection Law in Switzerland
Data Protection Law in SwitzerlandUpdated on Thursday 03rd November 2016
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The personal information of the individuals living in Switzerland is protected by the Data Protection legislation. The legislation is this sense is prescribed at a national level, but also on a regional (or cantonal) level. Switzerland has 26 cantons, each of them having a data protection act which prescribes the way in which institutions and other bodies can process personal data. Those interested in the rights and obligations deriving from such rules of law may find out in-depth details from our law firm in Switzerland.
Main regulations referring to data protection in Switzerland
The main rule of law which provides the legal framework for the protection of data in Switzerland is the Federal Act on Data Protection. Also, the Swiss authorities use another Act, the Ordinance to the Federal Act on Data Protection.
It is important to know that the two Acts are applicable to both natural persons as well as legal entities operating in Switzerland, but also to the Swiss federal institutions.
The Acts are applicable only on the Swiss territory, and they take into consideration only natural persons and legal entities which have their residence in Switzerland. The same is applicable for the data processor, as prescribed under the Swiss Private International Law Act and our team of attorneys in Switzerland can offer more information on the specific of this legislation.
The scope of the Swiss data protection law
The main purpose of the legislation for the protection of data is to prescribe the ways in which data collection is performed here. In this sense, the Act refers to the following:
• collection of data;
• storage of data;
• use of data;
• revision of data;
• disclosure of data;
• archiving of data;
• destruction of data.
According to the Article 3 of the document, personal data refers to any type of information which is related to an identifiable person living in Switzerland. It also gives a definition on sensitive personal data, which refers to the religious or political views of the person, as well as health and social security aspects, but also to persons’ criminal proceedings and sanctions.
The Act prescribes that personal data is collected only with the permission of the person to which that particular information belongs to, but also that the person is allowed to ask for information from the respective controller.
We invite those interested on the data protection law in Switzerland to contact our Swiss law firm for legal advice.