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Pursuant to a legal opinion[1] issued by the Bulgarian Commission of Personal Data Protection (“CPDP”), transfer of personal data in relation to assignment of receivables falls under the scope of applicability of the legitimate interests of the data controller as one of the grounds for the lawful processing of personal data. During the last several years the practice of assignment of receivables to “bad debt” collectors has become quite common in Bulgaria, especially for commodities providers. With the said decision, the CPDP resolved the long debated question whether in the absence of an express consent from consumers their personal data could be transferred legitimately to third parties for the purposes of assignment of receivable or such practice is prohibited on data privacy considerations (i.e. the personal data may not be provided to third parties, including to the assignee under a contract for assignment of receivables). According to the CPDP, the processing of personal data of consumers by the assignee, pursuant to a contract for assignment of receivables, is acceptable and lawful, when effected for the purposes of protection of the legitimate interests of the assignee. In the opinion of the CPDP, the express consent of the data subjects is not a requirement for the lawfulness of the processing of personal data by the assignee. The CPDP further says that in cases of assignment of receivables, the assignee is not required to provide information to the data subjects regarding the processing of their data, to the extent the data subjects have already been provided with the required information by the assignor. In the same opinion the CPDP states that the existence of a valid contractual relationship between the data controller (assignor) and the consumer, whose personal data is being processed, is sufficient as ground for the lawful processing of his/her personal data by the assignee for the purposes of performance of a contract, to which the data subject is a party. Accordingly, this is a separate ground justifying the lawfulness of processing of personal data of consumers by the assignee under a contract for transfer of receivables.

[1] Legal Opinion reg. No. П-233/2014 of 13.03.2014

Dr. Teodora Tsenova is a senior associate at Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov, specializing in employment law and social security, data protection law, IP and IT law and commercial contracts. She is a valuable member of DGKV’s employment law practice group. She is actively involved in advising national and international clients on all aspects of labour and social security law matters, such as structuring intended personnel reorganizations, implementing collective and individual dismissals, advice on transfer of employees events, advice on and negotiations in collective labour disputes, drafting and revising a wide range of employment relates documents. Teodora Tsenova also advises clients on specific issues related to the scope of application of Bulgarian anti-corruption and anti-bribery legislation and on the implementation of appropriate corrective measures, drafts and revises corporate internal rules of organizations aiming to accommodate among others the requirements of the Bulgarian anti-bribery and anti-corruption legislation.

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