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Privacy watchdog investigates sales of personal data by tennis association KNLTB

The Dutch Data Protection Authority investigates how tennis association KNLTB has acted with personal data in recent months. It concerns complaints from athletes with whom contact was made, without any permission for sharing the personal data.

Opposite, the tennis association confirms that it is part of the investigation of the Dutch Data Protection Authority. The investigation is now limited to the KNLTB, with which the regulator says he wants to set a standard. The Dutch Data Protection Authority also received complaints from athletes from other sports associations. If these unions continue with commercial actions, without the consent of the individual members, more investigations or fines may follow.

“Unions may use personal data to run associations and let people play sports, not to to trade, “says Aleid Wolfsen, chairman of the Dutch Data Protection Authority. According to him, an agreement of the Council of Members is insufficient. “You really have to ask every member: do you think it’s good that I sell your data to company X or Y? Only then can it,” according to the chairman.

See the complaints on members of sports unions who are called unsolicited, received emails or received advertising by mail. They had often not granted permission for this. Wolfsen observes that the sports sector is increasingly trading commercially with personal data from members being traded.

KNLTB director Robert-Jan Schumacher says that his association will handle personal data in the future. For example, first call for permission will be requested. “We are searching and we are not the only ones, data is not a revenue model for us, the privacy of our members weighs heaviest, but at the same time, in some cases, I have to share data with sponsors,” according to the KNLTB director.

A few weeks ago the tennis federation was already in the news about privacy concerns. A member recently threatened with an injunction about the use of name and address details of KNLTB members for marketing campaigns. He did not want his details to be passed on to sponsors. Eventually it did not come to a case.

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