AVG Foundation launches AVG OK vignette

AVG OK, that is the name of the quality mark that the AVG Foundation is launching today. With the vignette, the foundation wants to assure citizens, companies, customers, employees and members that an organization handles personal data properly. If it is up to the foundation, the quality mark is the prelude to an official AVG certificate.

The AVG Foundation informs VPNGids.nl about this.

Too many privacy complaints and data leaks

The AVG OK vignette is urgently needed, according to the foundation. In practice, it appears that many companies, organizations and authorities do not take the protection of private data seriously enough. The annual figures of the Dutch Data Protection Authority prove this. The regulator recently reported in its annual report that it received 24,866 reports of data breaches last year.

The number of privacy complaints did drop from 25,590 to 18,914. This decrease is probably due to the fact that it takes the privacy watchdog six months and more to process a complaint, which may deter Dutch people from reporting a privacy breach.

The Dutch Data Protection Authority imposed a fine 11 times last year for violating the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The tax authorities received the highest fine for unlawfully processing nationality data of people who applied for childcare allowance.

‘Many companies do not have their GDPR in order’

The Dutch regulator checks whether companies comply with European privacy legislation. Another important task of the privacy watchdog is information. Anyone with questions about privacy-related matters can turn to the AP for free advice. Employees also organize information evenings on the subject.

What the Dutch Data Protection Authority does not do is hand out quality marks or certificates. According to the AVG Foundation, this is a major shortcoming. That is why the foundation itself is introducing a quality mark today: the AVG OK vignette. “People want to be able to assume that organizations handle their data with care,” says Maarten Roelfs of the AVG Foundation.

He continues his story. “Unfortunately, there are still many companies in the Netherlands that do not have their GDPR in order. Our vignette was created for companies that do comply with the legislation; they can use the vignette on their website to demonstrate that they take privacy seriously and that they invest time and resources in it.”

Roelfs emphasizes that the AVG OK quality mark is not an official AVG certificate. If it is up to him, it is a precursor to an official quality mark from the Dutch Data Protection Authority.

Great need for AVG quality mark

The AVG foundation says that the need for an AVG quality mark is great. The foundation works with 180 industry and professional associations that support the AVG-OK vignette. One of those parties is the travel industry organization ANVR. “ANVR companies are travel organizations that handle a lot of important personal data with great care. We are therefore pleased with the AVG OK vignette so that our members can also make this known to their customers in an objective manner,” says Frank Radstake, responsible for Consumer Affairs at ANVR.

The AVG Foundation manages the AVG OK vignette and checks whether the applicant meets all the requirements set by European privacy legislation. If everything is in order, the company or organization submitting the request will receive the seal of approval. In order to get privacy in order outside the program as well, the foundation also works together with market parties.

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