Friday, May 31, 2013

Lamas & Martinez Associates explain the Law of Data Protection (LOPD)

Lamas & Martinez Associates. Mercedes from the commercial department talks about the consultancy that collaborates with AENIB since 2009 in the form an agreement that also the members of the association can take advantage of. Lamas & Martinez Associates is one the most important specialized consultancies in our community and makes sure that all their clients comply with the Organic Law of Data Protection (LOPD). Failing to comply can result in a considerable fine.

What can you tell us about the trajectory of your consultancy?
We are two professionals with different backgrounds. Vicente (responsible for the department of consultation) comes from the legal environment and I have a commercial background. The Law was introduced 10 years ago and Vicente got interested. I studied at the time, we tossed the idea back and forth for a time until we decided to start a consultancy specialized in LOPD, and that´s how we got started. It is still just the two of us, and little by little the word has got around. As we are getting ready to celebrate our 10th anniversary we have over 700 clients from all sectors, and we also collaborate with various entities, AENIB amongst them. We have a collaboration agreement with AENIB since 4 years. We think they are doing a great job and have an excellent relationship with their members. The determination of Marga (Margarita Dahlberg, the President of AENIB), always on top of everything that happens in the sector is something we see very positively.
What services exactly do you offer your clients?
We offer the services of adaptation, follow up, audits... For the companies that have lots of employees, we can make an integral plan, which means taking care of everything. We also process denunciations to the Spanish Agency of Data Protection and lodge appeals of those who may be the subject of a denunciation. We also organize conferences because we believe it is very important for people to have knowledge of the LOPD and for them to understand their rights. For our international clients who may have doubts, we have a section on our website where we explain the European normative, on which the Spanish legislation is based.

What consequences can a company face by not complying with the LOPD?
An employee or a client may denounce them. Besides, the Register of the Spanish Agency for Data protection is open, anybody can consult it. If you have the fiscal name of a company, you can consult the Agency and see if the company is registered or not. The fines for non-compliance are considerable: from 60.000 to 600.000 €, depending on the importance of the infraction. 

Are there any recurrent problems you find in your day-to-day work?
Explaining the obligation to comply with the law. Once the data protection is under control, it doesn´t cost so much neither money or time to maintain, besides it gives prestige to the company and security both for the employees and the clients. It gives them the guarantee that the details they facilitate for the company are for the purpose they are meant to be and for nothing else. This has also to do with the fact that as consumers we need to know the law and our rights.

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