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Is Your DIFC Notification Up to Date? The Power of Processing Notifications

In the ever-evolving landscape of data protection, organizations must be proactive in safeguarding their operations against potential enforcement actions and fines. One pivotal step in this journey is often underestimated – whether you are a newly established entity or a well-established organization in the DIFC, it is essential to understand the significance of the preparation of the Data Protection Processing Notification as mandated by DIFC Data Protection Law.

So, whether you are just starting or looking to refresh your knowledge, read on to understand the importance of compliance in the DIFC landscape. This article is to retouch on the Notifications process under the DIFC Data Protection Law and how everyone in the DIFC can adhere compliance.

(Trust) the Process

Notifications are not just a procedural step, but a statutory requirement under the Data Protection Law, DIFC Law No. 5 of 2020 (the “DP Law”), Article 14(7), and the DIFC Data Protection Regulations. Failing to maintain an up-to-date notification to the DIFC Data Protection Commissioner is a breach of the DP Law and may lead to supervisory or enforcement action.

It is also the process through which an entity describes its manner of processing Personal Data. Each register entry in the DIFC public register includes the name and address of the DIFC entity and a general description of the Processing of Personal Data. Individuals can consult the public register to find out details of the processing of Personal Data carried out by the DIFC entity.

For new entities, the Data Protection Processing Notification integrates seamlessly with the registration or incorporation service request, ensuring a two-step process is completed within six months of licensing. Any changes in processing must be reported to the DIFC Data Protection Commissioner within 14 days.

Be aware of this requirement when setting up your entity in the DIFC, even if you are not processing personal data at that given time, you need to think through future data processing activities carried out by the entity.

DIFC entities further have an ongoing duty to notify of any changes and amendments on registrable particulars through the “Data Protection Notification” service request on the DIFC Client Portal. All alterations in processing, according to the DIFC Data Protection Regulations 2020, must be reported to the DIFC Data Protection Commissioner within 14 days of initiating such changes.

For existing entities, the data protection notification renewal is seamlessly integrated into the renewal service request. Before submitting the renewal request, users must confirm if there are any changes to the registrable data protection particulars reported earlier.

The (Hidden) Power of Notification

Beyond being a mere regulatory requirement, the Data Protection Processing Notification acts as a robust shield, instilling transparency and accountability in an organization’s data processing practices. Recognizing the significance and importance of submitting such notification will transform what may seem like a routine task into a proactive step. The impact of crafting an accurate and detailed notification is profound as it establishes the groundwork for responsible data management, providing organizations with the tools to make informed decisions, and fostering a culture steeped in data ethics, as well as ensuring data regulatory compliance.

Beyond legal requirements, a well-prepared Data Protection Processing Notification is the key to also avoiding fines. The DIFC Commissioner has consistently emphasized the significance of accountability and highlighted notifications as pivotal milestones. Through regular communications, the Commissioner has underscored that enforcement actions will ensue in cases of Article 14 contraventions.

Showcasing a proactive approach that will resonate with the DIFC Commissioner and stakeholders alike will signal a commitment to compliance. Once notified, a preliminary check by the DIFC Data Protection Office ensues, ensuring completeness. Your notification is then deemed valid upon receipt of all details and fees, and the one-year notification period kicks off upon completion.

Have you Notified or not?

In the intricate web of data protection, a simple step like preparing your DIFC Data Protection Processing Notification can go a long way.

Stay informed, stay compliant, and let your commitment to responsible data handling be the cornerstone of your organization’s success.

For more details or assistance in completing your DIFC Data Protection Processing Notification, please get in touch!


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