Privacy Laws

Data protection in the Netherlands compared to the GDPR

The flag of the Netherlands with flowers and a windmill in the background
© Nikolay N. Antonov / | #283407033

General overview

Dutch legislation has extensively utilised the so-called “opening clauses” of the GDPR. They provide, among other things, differing provisions for the rights of data subjects and public authorities. The Dutch GDPR Implementation Act (Uitvoeringswet Algemene verordening gegevensbescherming) also contains many provisions related to health and employment.

GDPR opening clauses

The Netherlands has established specific regulations for the processing of data of minors, data processing for journalistic purposes, and data processing for scientific research purposes.

Key differences and national specifics

Specific data protection laws and official guidelines

The Netherlands has specific data protection laws and official guidelines. These provide detailed information and guidance for compliance with data protection regulations in the Netherlands.

Sensitive data and information obligations

In the Netherlands, there are specific regulations for the processing of sensitive data. Companies must ensure that they inform data subjects adequately about the processing of their data.

E-Marketing, cookies, and automated decision-making

The Netherlands has regulations concerning e-marketing and the handling of cookies. It is important to note that a new regulation through the ePrivacy Regulation is still pending. Additionally, there are regulations related to automated decision-making.

Data subject rights and Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs)

Data subject rights in the Netherlands are extensively regulated. Companies should ensure that they respect these rights. Furthermore, companies in the Netherlands should conduct DPIAs in accordance with Dutch regulations.

Data Protection Officer, Data breaches, and supervisory authorities

There are specific regulations regarding the role and duties of the Data Protection Officer in the Netherlands. Companies should be aware of the possible sanctions and penalties that can be imposed in case of data protection violations in the Netherlands.

Employee data protection

The Dutch Data Protection Act also includes regulations concerning data protection for employees.


The Netherlands has adopted many of the GDPR guidelines but has also introduced some national peculiarities. Companies operating in the Netherlands or conducting business with Dutch citizens should ensure that they fully understand and comply with both the GDPR and Dutch data protection laws.