The EU Directive on representative actions for consumers, WAMCA and the GDPR
On 24 November 2020, the European Parliament adopted Directive (EU) 2020/1828 on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers (the “Directive”).
We have previously written about the legislative proposal transposing the Directive into Dutch law. Only minor changes to the Dutch system of collective redress were proposed, since the Act on Redress of Mass Damages in Collective Action (“WAMCA”) already aligns very well with the Directive. On 25 May 2022, the legislative proposal passed the Dutch House of Representatives.
The members of the Dutch Senate had a chance to ask questions regarding the legislative proposal before voting. Several interesting points were brought up regarding the application of the WAMCA to violations of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and the Dutch translation thereof.
Minister Franc Weerwind (Legal Protection) explains in his response to the questions that the effective enforcement of the GDPR as a whole implies the right to claim damages in collective redress. The Minister elaborates that the intention behind the wording of the GDPR was for member states to be able to decide if and how to allow for damage claims in collective redress. The Minister concludes that there are sufficient indications to assume that the GDPR does not stand in the way of collective redress under the WAMCA, i.e. independently of the mandate of a data subject. This is in line with recent case law from the CJEU.
On 1 November 2022, the legislative proposal was accepted by the Dutch Senate ahead of the transposition deadline set by the Directive. The changes in Dutch law will enter into force on 25 June 2023.
bureau Brandeis regularly represents claimants in collective actions (against companies such as TikTok, Oracle and Salesforce, in cases like the Diesel emissions cases and other cases related to greenwashing practices, product liability and cartel damages). For more information please contact Michelle Krekels.