FADP: Data privacy and protection for personal data

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FADP: Data privacy and protection for personal data

In Switzerland, the Federal Act on Data Protection (FADP) applies, which regulates data protection at national level. However, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) regulates how personal data may be processed in the EU. All of these regulations serve to protect the privacy of citizens. It is therefore important for both private individuals and companies to know their rights and obligations.

What are the most important contents of the data protection laws?

Overall, the provisions are similar, as they all pursue the same objective: protecting the personal data of private individuals and companies. This involves, for example, the protection of financial information such as credit card data or biometric data such as fingerprints, but also information on medical diagnoses or other health data.

How this data may be processed is regulated in separate laws and provisions for Switzerland and the EU countries.

These regulations are important in any case, because data privacy and protection is an issue that affects us all: Whether professional or private – personal data is collected, used or deleted every day. Be it in a professional context, e.g. for personnel administration or customer correspondence, or privately for online banking or shopping. Data that can be used to identify people appears everywhere. The FADP regulates what type of data may be processed in Switzerland and how. 

What happens to chat histories in messenger services, for example? What information may authorities exchange with each other? Can someone request the deletion of their data? These and many other questions arise wherever personal data is used. This is why a regulation regarding the use of such data is so important in order to protect privacy. 

How can I protect my data?

  • Check the recipient: Only disclose personal data to reputable recipients.
  • Rethink necessity: Do not disclose more data than necessary. This applies, for example, to optional information on forms or in competitions.
  • Read the conditions: Find out in the respective data protection conditions what happens to your data once it has been disclosed. 
  • Check settings: Your data is also collected and used online through cookies and tracking. You should therefore check cookie settings, for example, and restrict them if necessary.

What can I do in the event of a data breach?

If you suspect that your data is being used unlawfully, this should be reported:

  1. Contact provider: First ask the organization that has processed your data how or for what purpose your data is used.
  2. Inform the authorities: If you receive no response or an inadequate response to your request from the provider, inform the competent Swiss data protection authority or the National Cyber Security Center NCSC
  3. Take legal action: If necessary, consult a lawyer who will check your right to compensation and possible legal action for you.

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