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Hot Practice: Andras Gyorgy on SBGK's Data Protection Practice

Hot Practice: Andras Gyorgy on SBGK's Data Protection Practice

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SBGK’s busiest practice over the last few months has been Data Protection, according to Partner Andras Gyorgy, driven by both the COVID-19 pandemic and, more importantly, by fines for GDPR breaches raising awareness among companies.

Although GDPR has been around for a while, according to Gyorgy, some companies are struggling with it, and, he says, “we are now helping our clients better understand the rules.” For example, he says, he has worked on "many legitimate interest assessment cases where we needed to assess the nature of the data processing and determine if the measures implemented by our client are necessary and proportionate, and thus legitimately limit the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual.” He explains that those assessments are most often tied to data processing in the workplace. “In one of them, a chain of fast food restaurants collected data on the reasons why employees decide to resign from work,” Gyorgy says. “In another, a company wanted to collect various kinds of information about its employees, so that it could meet their needs in a more efficient way.”

The team’s workload is supplemented by “many employers trying to implement different kinds of COVID-19-related health inspections.” Gyorgy points to a case involving a company that wanted to take its employees' temperatures, obtain PCR and antibody tests, and even launch a mobile platform to screen employees before they came to work.

SBGK’s work on such cases consisted primarily of providing analysis whether the intended measures complied with data protection regulation, and if not, what steps are needed to ensure compliance. Sometimes it also included representing a client before the Hungarian Data Protection Authority over alleged breaches of the law, Gyorgy reports.

“Overall, since the spring, about a third of our work has stemmed from pandemic-caused issues,” Gyorgy says, and he estimates that the remainder likely resulted from, “companies becoming more aware of the importance of GDPR, especially after the Hungarian Data Protection Authority began issuing fines for breaches of the regulation.”

Looking forward, Gyorgy says, “the pandemic-related cases will hopefully die down soon, but regardless of that we will keep busy well into the future.” His optimism, he says, is based not only on the current rise in cases. "Our clients appreciate the quality of our service, so they began referring new clients to us. It is difficult to predict what future will bring, but judging by our track record, this trend will keep on going even without pandemic-related cases.”

SBGK at a Glance

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SBGK Attorneys at Law and Patent Attorneys is one of the leading law firms and the go-to-firm in intellectual property law in Hungary, founded in 1969. Our lawyers and patent attorneys have decades of experience in all fields of defending and enforcing intellectual property rights. Furthermore, with 50 years of professional experience SBGK provides outstanding services in all commercial law areas to both domestic and international clients from more than 20 sectors.

SBGK also helps foreign investors set up their businesses in Europe and provides them with all the necessary legal services in company establishment, mergers and acquisitions, competition law, employment law matters and various other commercial transactions. SBGK provides “day-to-day” advice to companies of all legal forms, on any corporate and commercial legal aspects as well. SBGK’s extraordinary service, long success and exceptional effective work is recognised many times.

Our colleagues are also continuously recognised as leading individuals and their outstanding professional legal performance is well-known. In 2019 "De Justitia Bene Meritis" medal was awarded to SBGK and according to WTR 1000 2020, SBGK exhibits impressive depth and has four practitioners included in the publication, more than any other Hungarian firm.

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