Top EU court fines Spain for not adopting data protection rules

Kate Abnett
·1 min read

By Kate Abnett

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union's top court fined Spain 15 million euros ($18 million) on Thursday for failing to adopt EU rules on protecting personal data during police investigations.

Madrid must also pay an extra 89,000 euros for each day that the infringement is allowed to continue after Thursday's ruling, the court said.

The EU adopted rules in 2016 aimed at protecting individuals' personal data when it is processed by police and criminal justice authorities. Spain missed a May 2018 deadline to transpose the EU rules into national law, prompting the European Commission to take legal action.

"By today's judgment, the Court declares that Spain has failed to fulfil its obligations," the court said.

The Spanish Justice and Interior Ministries declined to comment on the fine and said the law was currently passing through parliament.

The ruling did not involve any specific case of data privacy violations.

The case is the first where the court has imposed a lump sum payment and daily penalties at the same time, which the court said reflects "the seriousness and duration of the infringement".

Spain had previously said it would transpose the rules by March 2020, citing delays caused because the country was awaiting the formation of a new government.

($1 = 0.8181 euros)

(Reporting by Kate Abnett; additional reporting by Belen Carreno; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Gareth Jones)