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Turkish Personal Data Protection Board approves, for the first time, a letter of undertaking for the application of data protection law

February 2021 – In an announcement published on 9 February 2021, the Turkish Personal Data Protection Board (the “Board”) stated  that it will allow the transfer of personal data abroad. The announcement—which relates to the evaluation of a letter of undertaking prepared by fleet management company TEB Arval for the transfer of personal data across borders—is highly significant as it marks the first time that the Board has approved and published an announcement regarding a letter of undertaking on the official website of the Turkish Personal Data Protection Authority (the “Authority”).

According to Turkish Personal Data Protection Law (numbered 6698), a data controller may transfer personal data to a third country if the data subject has given explicit consent or if the third country provides adequate protection for personal data. However, the Authority has yet to announce any safe countries. An alternative way to transfer personal data abroad is that both the importing and exporting data controllers give a written commitment (letter of undertaking) to adequately protect the data in question and obtain an approval from the Board. Until now, the Board had not announced any approval regarding a letter of undertaking for the transfer of personal data across borders. Thus this announcement is an encouraging sign for the future.

Please find below the link of the announcement (in the Turkish language only):

https://www.kvkk.gov.tr/Icerik/6867/TAAHHUTNAME-BASVURUSU-HAKKINDA-DUYURU

Please do not hesitate to contact our data protection team members for more information regarding the above.

Ceren Ceyhan, Associate, cceyhan@gentemizerozer.com

Sıla Dilaver, Associate, dilaver@gentemizerozer.com