The Personal Data Protection Board Rendered a Decision on the Access of Lawyers to Enforcement Proceedings of 3rd Parties.
The Personal Data Protection Board (“Board”) rendered its decisions dated 20.05.2021 and numbered 2021/511-512-513 (“Decision”) on the notices received with regard to the fact that the attorneys have unlawfully accessed the personal data in the files of enforcement proceedings without a power of attorney and the personal data in the files of enforcement proceedings where the debtors are the creditors, which were illegally transferred to the attorneys of creditors through the personnel working at the enforcement offices and the Ministry of Justice (the “Notices”).
The Notices alleged that the attorneys of the creditors, acting as the data controllers, having access to the enforcement files without a power of attorney, and the personnel in the enforcement distribution offices transferring the personal data contained in the enforcement proceedings files to the attorneys of the creditor attorneys shall constitute a violation of the Personal Data Protection Law numbered 6698 (the “PDP Law”); and requested that the Board should detect the violation in question, and take initiatives before the Ministry of Justice, acting as the data controller, to correct the violation and to apply the necessary administrative measures.
The Board initiated an ex officio investigation in line with the Notices received. As a result of the information requested from the Ministry of Justice and the attorney of the creditor both acting as the data controller, within the framework of the investigation, it is stated that;
- The right of the creditor or her attorney to question the debtor’s assets, rights and receivables stems from the Enforcement and Bankruptcy Law numbered 2004 (the “Enforcement and Bankruptcy Law”);
- Pursuant to the Attorneyship Law numbered 1136 (“Attorneyship Law”), it is understood that an attorney or an intern may review casefiles and legal action files without a power of attorney, otherwise, the attorney would be liable to the client for not duly performing her duties;
- Attorneys or interns would not be in breach of the PDP Law since it is clearly stipulated in the laws that they could examine the debtors’ files where the debtors are the creditors, to ensure that their clients receive their receivables.
The Board, as a result of the examinations carried out on the relevant provisions of the Enforcement and Bankruptcy Law and the Attorneyship Law, and based on the legal ground of “explicitly stipulated in the laws” regulated in Article 5/2-a of the PDP Law, rendered that;
- The attorneys representing the creditors can examine the execution proceedings without the need to present a power of attorney and that the relevant authorities are obliged to provide the attorneys with the necessary feasibility in this regard;
- The attorneys of creditors may inquire about all the properties, rights or receivables of the debtors including the enforcement files where the debtor is the creditor, through the National Judicial Network Information System (UYAP);
- In order for the creditors’ attorneys to fulfill their duties, the personnel in the enforcement offices may transfer to the attorney the personal data contained in the enforcement proceedings files of the debtors;
- In the light of these evaluations, there is no action to be taken within the scope of the PDP Law regarding the Notifications received by the Board.
You may reach the full Turkish version of the Decision via the link below.