Personal Data Protection Board Issues Fines of 2 Million 665 Thousand Lira Each to WhatsApp and Meta

The Personal Data Protection Board (“Board“) has imposed an administrative fine of 2 million 665 thousand lira on WhatsApp and Meta for failing to meet their obligations to register with the Data Controllers Registry. The Data Controllers’ Registry or VERBİS is a publicly available database maintained by the Data Protection Board. Unless exempt from the requirement, all individuals and legal entities who process personal data in Turkey must be recorded with VERBİS before processing any personal data. This obligation applies to both Turkish residents and non-residents who process personal data in Turkey.

As per the information available, the Board launched an ex officio investigation and discovered that Meta and WhatsApp, which process the personal data of relevant individuals in Turkey and are subject to the regulations outlined in the Personal Data Protection Law, had not complied with their registration responsibilities to the Data Controllers Registry on time, even though they were required to do so.

In light of this, the Personal Data Protection Board determined that separate administrative fines of 2 million 665 thousand lira should be levied on Meta and WhatsApp. Furthermore, the Board directed Meta and WhatsApp to complete their registration commitments to the registry within 30 days.

As a foreign-based legal entity operating in Turkey, it’s crucial to comply with its data protection regulations. Failure to register with VERBİS, the central data controller’s registry, can result in an administrative fine ranging from 119,436 TL to 5,972,040 TL. Foreign-based legal entities can register with VERBİS through a representative authorized to act on their behalf to avoid these penalties and ensure compliance with Turkish data protection laws. At Sistem Global Consultancy, we offer expert assistance in registering with VERBİS and provide the necessary representation to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations. Contact us today to learn how we can help you meet your data protection obligations in Turkey.

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