Prior Notice and Consent Required for Processing Personal Data

  • 2007-06-27
  • By Reimo Hammerberg, senior associate at Sorainen Law Offices in Tallinn
In February, the Estonian Parliament adopted the amended Personal Data Protection Act, which specifies the procedure for processing personal data of natural persons and regulates the forwarding of such data to foreign countries. The new amendments will take effect on 2008.01.01. As a general rule, gathering, forwarding, and disclosure of personal data require a person's express written consent. In case of dispute, it is presumed that no consent was given. Therefore, consent must be clearly identifiable in the terms and conditions of the transaction.

Prior to obtaining consent, the person must be informed of the purpose and conditions of processing their personal data and any rights pertaining thereto must be explained to them.

However, consent is not necessary where personal data are processed to perform a contract entered into with the person. In that case, the person need only be informed of the categories and source of the data to be processed as well as the contact information of the processor.

We recommend that you consider the amendments described above when entering into contracts to ensure that gathering and processing of personal data today is in line with the law to take effect next year. For more legal news please check the latest Baltic Legal Updates by Sorainen Law Offices at


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