Community of owners and General Data Protection Regulations

General Data Protection Regulations

Since the European Union introduced its General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in 2018, how entities may use (and not use) our data has become highly regulated and data protection is now a part of our everyday lives. If you own property in Spain that forms part of a community of owners, GDPR rules also apply. In this article, we look at the implications.

What are current regulations on data protection in Spain?

Two laws currently regulate data protection in Spain: the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Spanish Law of Data Protection and Digital Rights. Both have been in place since 2018.

Must a community of owners adapt to the GDPR rules? 

Yes, of course, because it is an entity that has and uses personal data. 

Whose personal data does a community of owners store? 

The law allows it to keep information on owners, tenants, co-owners, employees, and in some instances, suppliers. 

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What sort of personal data does a community of owners keep? 

Neither law establishes a limit on the amount of your personal data that a community of owners may hold. Most have information that is necessary for running the community. It usually includes: 

  • Your name
  • Your passport or national identity card number
  • Contact details (email, telephone and address)
  • Bank account number

Does the community of owners have to ask for my consent to keep my details? 

No, Spanish GDPR automatically allows a community of owners to keep a database with owners’ data without asking for prior consent. 

Who has access to the personal data? 

In most cases, the person in charge of the data is usually the appointed administrator but sometimes it may be the president of the community of owners. Access to the data comes with certain conditions: 

  • The administrator must only access the data for the exclusive purpose of providing a service to the community.
  • If the use of the data is for purposes not included in the Horizontal Property Law, consent from all owners is necessary. Under GDPR rules, this consent must be express and unambiguous.
  • The relationship between the community of owners and the administrator must be recorded in writing.

But surely the community of owners has certain GDPR obligations?

Yes, and these must be strictly adhered to. The person in charge of the data must sign an agreement with the community of owners. The agreement states that the person responsible will only use the personal data for the community of owners, take security measures to ensure its protection, and not share it with third parties without consent. 

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What other GDPR obligations must the community of owners abide by? 

The community of owners must comply with the following: 

  • Register of data – all owners have the right to access, modify or cancel their personal data at any time. 
  • Confidentially – all personal data must be kept securely and never shared with third parties without prior consent. 
  • Data limitations – the community of owners is only allowed to store personal data that is necessary for its purpose. 

What sort of records does the community of owners keep for GDPR purposes?

The records must include the following information: 

  • Name and contact details of the person in charge of the personal data. 
  • The purposes of personal data usage. 
  • A description of the data held.  
  • Information about the recipients of the information, e.g. supplier companies. 
  • And, if possible, a description of the security measures taken to safeguard the data. 

What about video cameras? 

GDPR includes rules about the use of video cameras in a community such as: 

  • Cameras may only operate in communal areas. 
  • There must be signs alerting to the presence of cameras.
  • Only the designated person may access and view the video recordings. 

Does the community of owners have to notify the Spanish GDPR authorities? 

No, but it does have to keep an internal record of its use of the data. 

Where can I find more information and advice?

The Costaluz Lawyers legal team has years of experience in everything and anything to do with property in Spain, including the community of owners’ regulations. Get in touch for a free consultation now. 

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