The Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP) received a complaint from over 27,800 people in 2019 for a possible privacy violation. The authority reports this on its website on Friday. This is an increase of 79 percent compared to 2018.

20,700 privacy complaints were handled in 2019. This also included complaints from 2018. 138 investigations were carried out in response to those complaints and 25 of them were found to be infringing.

The AP imposed a penalty or fine in some cases. Other times the organization concerned came off with a warning.

The majority of the complaints concerned a violation of a privacy right, such as the right to inspect and the right to delete. There were also complaints about unsolicited advertisements and about organizations that transfer personal data to third parties without permission.

Still not enough capacity

Aleid Wolfsen, chairman of the AP, says that "figures above all show that people know where to find us". The authority does say that it is still under-staffed and therefore unable to start an investigation as often.

"With the current number of employees, we can only handle most complaints after six months," says Wolfsen. "That must be different: people have the right to protection of their privacy and must be able to turn to it quickly."

The Ministry of Justice and Security is conducting an investigation into the available capacity and the financing needed to be able to process more complaints. The investigation is expected to be completed in May.