The Data Protection Authority 


What is it?

The Data Protection Authority (The Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens, the AP) is the independent regulator in the Netherlands that monitors the fundamental right (yes, it is a fundamental right!) of privacy. The AP ensures that companies and organizations comply with privacy laws. And can issue fines if they do not.

The chairman of the AP is Aleid Wolfsen. So far, privacy legislation has been mostly in favor of sex workers and we can be happy with it.


What can you do?

You have some rights and you can stand up for those rights. Not always easy, but it can be rewarding.

  • You have a right to information.
  • You have the right to inspect of all your personal data.
  • Right to rectification if your data is not correct. If so, this can have unpleasant consequences for you, which is why you are allowed to correct your data.
  • Right to forget If you want your data to be deleted. Sometimes it is not possible to delete all your data.
  • Right to data portability.
  • Right to Object.
  • Right to restrict processing.
  • Right to human view in decisions A lot of data is taken completely automatically these days. A risk profile can be used. And sex work could jump out of that unfavorably (banks, insurance companies).
  • Complaint about use of personal data.
Filing a complaint

Do you think your data has not been handled carefully? Always go first to the organization itself. There are sample letters on the website of the AP that you can use. (see "self-doing"). If you can't work it out with that organization then you can file a complaint with the AP. They get a lot of complaints and they are understaffed, so unfortunately it takes a long time (approx. 6 months). But also consider the Ombudsman (national, but there are also municipal ombudsmen). In the latter case, you can go to court.

  • If it involves your own data (for example, if you are unfairly listed on a review site) you can report it as a COMPLAINT. This is not anonymous and you will be informed of a decision.
  • Or you can report it as a TIP if this is also about other people (e.g. report a review website). You can do that anonymously, but then you won't be informed.


Continue reading