Privacy and data processing

The Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) attaches great importance to the careful handling of your personal data. The first step is to give you clear information about this. Below you can read the answers to some frequently asked questions.

  • What is personal data?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) defines "personal data" as any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person. This information directly concerns a person or can be attributed to that person.
Personal data is therefore information that is traceable to you as a person, such as your first name, last name, home address, e-mail address and IP address. Telephone numbers and postal codes with house numbers are also personal data. Data showing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership or state of health receive special protection in the legislation.

  • Why do we collect and process personal data?

The collection and processing of personal data is used to perform the legal tasks assigned to the BCA. For example, this information helps the Authority to identify the person responsible for infringement of the free competition rules , to start an investigation into competition problems who have been signaled to us by consumers and businesses and to impose sanctions on the offender, if necessary.
We also collect and process data for statistical and qualitative purposes to improve the functioning of the BCA.

  • How long do we keep your data?

Your personal data will not be stored longer than necessary for the specified purpose of the data processing. If, for example, an investigation is completed and the data are no longer needed, the date will be erased.

  • Will your data be shared by us with third parties?

When performing our legal tasks, we may share data, including personal data, with third parties, for example with other supervisory or judicial authorities, but only if this is expressly permitted by law.

  • Are your personal data safe?

The BCA guarantees the security (integrity and confidentiality) of your personal data. They are protected against unauthorized access and use. Anyone working at the Authority is bound by professional secrecy.

  • How do we collect personal data?

The performance of BCA’s legal tasks requires the processing of personal data. Some examples :
- If we do research into a company and collect documents or e-mails relating thereto, these often contain personal data;
- When you contact us, for example to report a cartel by mail, email or otherwise, or to obtain leniency, we process your data;
- when you surf on our web page;
- we also collect information, including personal data, via public sources such as the Internet.

  • Why do we store your personal data after you contacted us?

If you repeatedly contact us, the Authority can see what has been discussed in a previous contact with you. Your information is also important for the performance of our legal tasks. In order to determine whether a company is complying with the rules, further investigation is often required and this may take some time.

  • Use of cookies

Cookies are small information files that are automatically stored on your computer's hard disk when you visit a website and that contain a unique identification number.
These cookies facilitate the user's visit to the website in question and the surfing on this site. They can also be used to tailor the site to your personal preferences (language) and also permit to analyze the use of a website.
The configuration of most browsers gives you the ability to accept or decline cookies and to notify you each time a cookie is used. You may refuse cookies, although this may have consequences for an optimal browsing experience and for the functionalities of the services offered on the relevant website. You can find more information in the help function of your browser.
When you visit the BCA website, some cookies are temporarily stored on your browser, in particular cookies necessary for the functioning of the site (Has_js; Language), cookies for statistical purposes (Google analytics, whereby the IP address is made anonymous ) and third-party cookies (ShareThis).

  • What rights do you have if your personal data are processed?

You have certain rights with regard to your personal data: the right of access, the right of rectification and  the right to erasure (‘right to be forgotten’). Under certain conditions, you also have the right to obtain from us restriction of processing of your personal data. You also have the right to object to processing by us of your personal data .

  • Contact

For more information on our data protection policy, contact our data protection officer:

By email :
info@bma-abc.be

By mail :
Belgian Competition Authority
For the attention of the Data Protection Officer
Rue du Progrès 50
1210 Brussels

  • Complaints

If you consider that the BCA has not processed your personal data in accordance with the regulations in force, you can submit a complaint to the Data Protection Authority:
Data Protection Authority
Rue de la Presse 35
1000 Brussels

Website of the Data Protection Authority: https://www.dataprotectionauthority.be/ and  https://www.autoriteprotectiondonnees.be/reglement-general-sur-la-protection-des-donnees-citoyen