Overview

Welcome to the EuroPriSe dispute resolution system. Below, you are provided with all relevant information that you need to file a complaint and initiate a dispute resolution procedure.

EuroPriSe dispute resolution is an important tool to guarantee continued compliance of certified products, services and websites with EU data protection law. Anybody who has evidence that an IT product, an IT-based service or the publicly available sections of a website that was awarded the seal do not meet the relevant EuroPriSe requirements any more may file a complaint with EuroPriSe GmbH. Basic information about the EuroPriSe dispute resolution process as well as a link to our complaint form is provided on this page.

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Scope

Complaints must concern functionality, default settings or other core aspects of a certified IT product or IT-based service, or they must be related to the processing of personal data by a seal holder when providing an IT-based service or a website that was awarded the EuroPriSe seal. In respect of certified websites, the complaint must refer to the publicly available parts of the website because the scope of EuroPriSe website certification is limited to the publicly available parts of a website. Complaints that are not directly related to a certified product, service or website are not eligible for the EuroPriSe complaint mechanism. Note that for the complaint to be eligible, the seal for the product, service or website must still be valid.

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EuroPriSe Dispute Resolution

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Procedure

Step 1: Internal Dispute Resolution

In a first step, complainants are required to submit their complaints to the respective seal holder. The contact details of all seal holders are available on the EuroPriSe website at www.europeanprivacy-seal.eu/EPS-en/Awarded-seals/. EuroPriSe will only start its own investigations if the complainant already presented the complaint to the seal holder and if the complaint could not be resolved between complainant and seal holder (notwithstanding the exception outlined in the following paragraph).

The internal dispute resolution procedure is dispensable if it is obvious to EuroPriSe that

(a) the internal dispute resolution procedure will not be successful (i.e., the complaint will not be resolved by seal holder and complainant) and/or

(b) it would be unacceptable for the complainant to run through the internal dispute resolution first (e. g., in cases of ongoing serious violations of the complainant’s right for privacy).

The complainant must show probable cause that the requirements for a dispense with the internal dispute resolution are in place.

Step 2: External Dispute Resolution

If the internal dispute resolution fails or if it is dispensable, then the complainant may present the complaint to EuroPriSe GmbH. Complainants may communicate all relevant facts by means of a dedicated complaint form. A hyperlink to this form is provided below.

After receipt of a complaint, EuroPriSe will contact the complainant and inform him or her whether the complaint is in scope of EuroPriSe dispute resolution and whether additional information on the complaint is needed. If the complaint is eligible, EuroPriSe will ask the seal holder to investigate the matter and to respond to the complaint next.

EuroPriSe will then investigate and evaluate the facts based on the received complaint. Hereby, both the facts that have been provided by the complainant and the ones that have been provided by the seal holder will be taken into account. Where required, EuroPriSe will contact the complainant and/or the seal holder for additional information on the subject matter of the complaint.

After receipt of a statement by one party, the other party will be informed hereof and be given the opportunity to make representations.

EuroPriSe may also consult the EuroPriSe experts who were involved in the certification project concerning the product, service or website at hand.

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Response Times

Complainants can expect the following reaction times from EuroPriSe GmbH:

  • EuroPriSe will confirm receipt of a submitted complaint form by email within 2 working days as a rule.
  • Feedback on whether the complaint is in scope of the dispute resolution process is provided by e-mail. It is usually given within 5 working days after receipt of a submitted complaint form, but may take up to 10 working days under special circumstances.
  • EuroPriSe will set a deadline for the seal holder to respond to the complaint within 5 working days. Under special circumstances, this period may be prolonged by 5 additional working days. The same deadline will apply if the seal holder is asked to provide further clarification regarding the subject matter of the dispute resolution procedure. Deadlines will be communicated by e-mail.
  • Duration of the next phase (investigation and evaluation of the facts) depends on the complexity of the complaint at hand. EuroPriSe may ask the complainant and/or the seal holder by e-mail to provide further clarification regarding the subject matter and consult the respective EuroPriSe experts. Both complainant and seal holder will be informed of any statements on the subject matter by the other party by e-mail and be given the possibility to comment on these. In cases of average complexity, this phase should not take longer than 6 working weeks as a rule.
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Privacy of Complainants

In order to avoid misuse of the dispute resolution procedure, EuroPriSe requires complainants to indicate their real name and a valid email address. These personal data will be disclosed to the seal holder who is concerned by the complaint together with the circumstances of the case. They will only be used for the purpose of dispute resolution.

EuroPriSe may also disclose the circumstances of the case to the EuroPriSe experts who were involved in the certification project concerning the product, service or website at hand.

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Results

Result 1: Ineligible Complaint

If it turns out that the complaint is out of scope of EuroPriSe dispute resolution (cf. above) or if it turns out that the facts that are presented by the complainant are not correct, then EuroPriSe will inform the complainant hereof by e-mail and close the proceedings.

Result 2: Eligible Complaint

If it turns out that the complaint is valid, then EuroPriSe will start the external dispute resolution procedure as described above.

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