Mahmut Barlas / Data Protection
Under Turkish law, personal data processing is deemed as any operation performed upon personal data such as collection, recording, storage, retention, alteration, re-organization, disclosure, transferring, taking over, making retrievable, classification or preventing the use thereof, fully or partially through automatic means or through non-automatic means.
According to Article 16 of the Data Protection Law (the “DPL”), each and every Data Controller is obliged to register with Data Collector’s Registry (Veri Sorumluları Sicili) via an online IT system created only for this purpose named as Data Collector’s Registry Information System (VERBIS) with. This registry is a governmental registry system that is publicly available and in charge of due registration of Personal Data according to the law.
According to the public announcement made by Data Protection Agency, Data Controllers are required to register with VERBIS as of 01/10/2018.
Even though the DPL stipulates that each and every Data Controller is required to register with Data Controller’s Registry, Data Protection Board has the right to resolve on the exempt parties per law. Accordingly, the Date Protection Board resolved on two resolutions on 19July 2018.
According to the Date Protection Board’s resolution dated 19 July 2018 and numbered 2018/87, any party who (A) employs less than 50 personnel and (B) has a total annual balance sheet below TRY 25,000,000 and (C) its main area of activity is NOT processing Sensitive Data shall be deemed exempted from the registration requirement with VERBIS.
The significant point on this matter is that the above stated three conditions MUST be fulfilled together. In the absence of any of them, Data Controller shall not be deemed exempted from the registration requirement with VERBIS.
In addition to the above stated board resolution, the Data Protection Board resolved for another decision on 19 July 2018, which numbered 2018/88. This one is related with again any party, who employs less than 50 personnel and has a balance sheet below TRY 25,000,000 BUT (C) its main area of activity is processing Sensitive Data.
The above stated parties are not exempted from the registration requirement with VERBIS but given additional time as to their registration requirement will begin as soon as 1 January 2019.
In light of the above stated, a quite considerable portion of the Turkish companies are exempted from VERBIS registration based on the number of personnel and annual balance sheet wise. However, there are no exemptions for processing sensitive data as this is a matter may end up in differentiation within the society.
DURUKAN LAW FIRM
Av. Mahmut Barlas (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Stj. Av. Merve Atayurt (email@example.com)
 Law on Protection on Personal Data numbered 6698, which was published in the Official Gazette dated March 24, 2016 and numbered 29677 (the “DPL”)