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Posts Tagged ‘collective action notice’

Berta Baz published this article yesterday in Money Market UK, which may be of interest anyone who tracks developments in class and collective actions abroad.  The article discusses the tension between a collective action notice procedure and the Spanish Data Protection Act.

According to the article, a Madrid court issued an order requiring the Spanish bank BBVA to produce electronic customer data to consumer association ADICAE so that the association could solicit customers to opt in to a collective action against the bank.  The bank produced the data to the court but asked that the data not be passed on to the association until a request for an injunction is considered by the Constitutional Court.  The question apparently to be raised there is whether Spanish data privacy law prevents an order requiring a company to produce private data to the plaintiff representative in a collective action so that the plaintiff can give notice of the opportunity to opt in the lawsuit. 

Like many civil law jurisdictions in Europe, Spain allows collective litigation only on an opt-in basis (would-be group members have to affirmatively opt in to be bound).  (For more on Spanish Collective Litigation, see this article by Pablo Gutiérrez de Cabiedes Hidalgo, available courtesy of the Stanford Global Class Actions Exchange).

Baz points out that there is a practical alternative to requiring the defendant to turn its customer data over to the plaintiff in a collective action that arguably does not violate privacy rights: requiring the defendant to give the notice to the class members directly.  It is unclear, under either procedure, who bears the cost of sending the notice.

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