We take our responsibilities under the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 very seriously and as such we are committed to:
- Process personal data openly, fairly and in accordance with applicable laws;
- Inform (either directly or in our policies) about how we will use your personal data;
- Only collect personal data from when we need it for legitimate purposes or legal reasons;
- Ensure that all personal data are adequate, relevant and not excessive for the purpose for which we collect them;
- Avoid keeping personal data for longer than we need to;
- Keep personal data secure, and limit the people who can access it
- Ensure that you know how to access your personal data and exercise your rights in relation to it, including being able to keep it accurate and up-to-date and
- Ensure that any third parties we share personal data by taking appropriate steps to protect it.
Who we are?
AC is a limited liability company, incorporated under the Companies Law of the Republic of Cyprus, Cap. 113, with a registration number HE 240348. The Company was incorporated in 2008, having as main activities in the aspects of legal industry.
Our Firm aims to provide services mainly in the fields of:
- Property Law
- Trust Law
- Intellectual Property Law
- Energy Law
- Corporate & Commercial Law
- Litigation Services
- Immigration Law
- Shipping Law
- Regulated Entities
- Banking & Finance
How we collect/obtain your information?
- Directly from you and/or
- Through third parties in the standard course of our business in accordance with the services we provide to you and/or
- Through our website (in case you contact us through the website);
- through your correspondence (including email addresses, if you contact us);
- publicly available sources.
Information Collection and Use:
In general, you can visit AC through Web Site maintaining your anonymity. However, occasionally AC may ask you to provide personally identifiable information, such as your name, company, e-mail address, phone number and address (“Personal Information”). The purpose of requesting such information/data may involve, corresponding with and/or contacting you, responding to your requests, or informing you about an optional subscription to a newsletter or publication, or notifying you about events. Where applicable, we will differentiate between personal data fields that are optional and those that are mandatory in order for you to obtain the requested information.
You will be receiving advertising material from AC, only if you have provided your explicit consent. In case you feel that you need to revoke this consent, you will be provided with an automated way to opt-out (unsubscribe) from all marketing e-mails sent by AC. Please follow the instructions from the e-mail you received to do so. In the unlikely case you receive unwanted e-mail from our Company, please forward a copy of that e-mail to email@example.com
Categories of Personal Information we collect:
- information you provide to the company by filling in the forms we initially requested from you (i.e., contact details and other information to confirm your identity and your communications with us including your name, home phone, mobile phone, home address, ID or passport number, email address, passwords, your payment and financial information.);
- information you provide to the company when you submit your consent or when you report a problem through the Website;
- information provided by you in case you contact us (i.e., your communications with us, including emails, and phone calls. We’ll also keep records of any settings or communication preferences you choose;
- information provided by you in the standard course of our business relationship.
Purpose of the prosses and/or use of your Personal Information:
- to provide you with our services – in order to provide you with a service requested by you, we might need to use your personal information;
- for customer management purposes – to provide you with the customer support including any notice, for example changes about any product and/ or service we offer;
- advertising – in case you have provided us with your consent, we may communicate with you in order to inform you about services and/or products offered by us or other third parties for which you might be interested security purposes;
- in order to detect and/or prevent actual or potential fraud, illegal activities, or any intellectual property infringement;
- Compliance – in order to comply with our legal obligations;
- When you visit our office, which has CCTV systems operated for the security of both customers and Partners. These systems may record your image during your visit.
We may share Personal Information with our affiliates for the purpose of responding to your requests or otherwise as necessary for the purposes described above. In limited circumstances we may share Personal Information with governmental authorities or others, as/if/in case this may be required in order to protect the interests of the Company or others, as necessary in connection with the sale or transfer of all or a portion of the business. It may be required by the applicable law or court order. Where and when required, the Individual’s consent will be requested upon establishing the business relationship.
Our policy is that we will only transfer your personal data to a third-party processor who complies with the Company’s security and data protection procedures and policies or if they put in place equivalent measures themselves, which we deem to be acceptable and are at minimum in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679. Furthermore, we will provide only the information they need to perform their specific services, they may only use your data for the exact purposes we specify in our contract (“Data Processing Agreement”) with them and if we stop using their services, any of your data held by them will either be disposed or anonymized.
By consenting to provide AC with personally identifiable data, such as your name, address, email address and telephone number, AC will not, in any way, directly or indirectly, sell or transfer any of this information to any third party. Any information provided will be confidential and will be handled in accordance with the applicable laws and regulation.
Please note that if you reply to one of AC advertising emails or in case you contact us in another way, your communication will not create a company-client relationship with us. Therefore, do not send us any information that you or anyone else considers to be confidential or a secret unless we have first agreed to be your service providers about that matter. Any information you send us before we agree to be your service providers cannot be protected from disclosure as a means of company-client confidentiality.
List of recipients we might disclose information
- Affiliate companies – service providers (Law and Accounting Firms for legal, book-keeping and audit purposes, Banks).
- Third parties such as authorities, agents and administrative personnel in various countries (Tax Authorities, Bank Institutions etc.)
- Legal Successors– we might disclose personal information to a buyer or a successor in the event of a merger, divestiture, restructuring, reorganization, dissolution or sale or transfer of some or all of our assets
- Transfer of data in countries out of the European Economic Area such as Russian Federation, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Hong Kong*.
*Unless the individual has specifically consented for the transfer, we will only transfer personal data outside the European Economic Area (EEA) where:
- we transfer the data to a country or international organisation which the EU Commission has decided to ensure an adequate level of protection for your personal data;
- the transfer of your personal data is subject to adequate safeguards, which may include binding corporate rules or standard data protection clauses adopted by the EU Commission. (The standard contractual clauses may be used for such transfers only to the extent that the processing by the importer does not fall within the scope of Regulation (EU) 2016/679. This also includes the transfer of personal data by a controller or processor not established in the Union, to the extent that the processing is subject to Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (pursuant to Article 3(2) thereof), because it relates to the offering of goods or services to data subjects in the Union or the monitoring of their behaviour as far as it takes place within the Union.); or
- one of the derogations in the GDPR to transfer personal data outside the EEA applies.
In order to ensure the safety of such transfer, we have in place safeguards including:
- Identity & Access management
- Cloud data protection
- Database encryption
- Database monitoring and auditing
- Data loss prevention
- File-level encryption
- Secure file sharing & collaboration
- Transport encryption
- Full-disk encryption
- Network encryption
- Back-up encryption
- Patch Management
Provisions for Individuals that are outside the EU.:
The Company always seeks to comply with the privacy provisions and procedures as these are set out, pursuant to the Russia’s 2006 privacy law – Federal Law No. 152-FZ of 27 July 2006 “On Personal Data” (Personal Data Law), managing and maintaining personal information in the course of its Russian business, which has been amended in December 2020 pursuant to Federal Law of 30 December 2020 No. 519-FZ on Amendments to the Federal Law on Personal Data and various regulatory acts adopted to implement the DPA as well as other laws, including the Information, Information Technologies and Information Protection Act No. 149 FZ dated 27 July 2006 establishing basic rules as to the information in general and its protection.
The Company always seeks to comply with the privacy provisions and procedures as these are set out, pursuant to the Chapter 4 of the Laws of Belize, managing and maintaining personal information in the course of its Belize business and Data Protection Bill 2021.
British Virgin Islands
The Data Protection Act, 2021 (the “DPA”) came into force on 9 July 2021 in the British Virgin Islands (“BVI”).
In summary, any entity established in the BVI that handles any individual’s personal information has certain obligations with respect to that information. These include ensuring that any such individual is formally apprised of what any of their personal data is being used for, and by whom. The entity is also responsible for personal information processed on its behalf by a third-party processor.
The Company always seeks to comply with the privacy provisions and procedures managing and maintaining personal information in the course of its BVI business.
In Hong Kong, the main legislation on data protection is the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap. 486 of the Laws of Hong Kong) (Ordinance). The Ordinance regulates the collection, use and handling of personal data and is based around a set of data protection principles. The Ordinance was enacted in 1996 in response to Directive 95/46/EC (Data Protection Directive). The Ordinance covers much of the same ground as the Data Protection Directive, although with some significant limitations. The Ordinance underwent major reform in 2012, primarily to add specific provisions and restrictions against the use and provision of personal data in direct marketing. Further amendments to the PDPO were introduced in 2021, pursuant to the Personal Data (Privacy) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 (‘2021 Amendment Ordinance’), which took effect on 8 October 2021. The purpose of these amendments was, primarily, to address the acts of disclosing personal data without consent, i.e., ‘doxing’.
The Company always seeks to comply with the privacy provisions and procedures managing and maintaining personal information in the course of its Hong Kong business.
In China, the main legislations on data protection are two laws, which both dealing with data security and privacy and they came into force in the fall of. These two laws — the Data Security Law and the Personal Information Protection Law — provide more specificity about the data localization, data export and data protection requirements that first appeared in the Chinese Cybersecurity Law in 2017. The Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) is China’s first comprehensive legislation regulating the protection of personal information, and is modelled after the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.
The Data Security Law (DSL) sets up a framework that classifies data collected and stored in China based on its potential impact on Chinese national security and regulates its storage and transfer depending on the data’s classification level. The law is generally seen as a response to the U.S. Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD Act), which gives U.S. law enforcement agencies the authority to compel companies falling under U.S. jurisdiction to produce requested data regardless of where the data is stored.
The United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union on 31 January 2020. Prior to the withdrawal and during the transition period, the legislative framework on the protection of personal data in the United Kingdom consisted of the relevant EU legislation (in particular Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and Directive (EU) 2016/680 of the European Parliament and of the Council15) and national legislation, in particular the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018)16which provided national rules, where allowed by Regulation (EU) 2016/679, specifying and restricting the application of the rules of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and transposed Directive(EU) 2016/680.
in India, the main legislation on data protection is The Personal Data Protection Bill, which was enacted in 2019, in order to provide for protection of the privacy of individuals relating to their personal data, specify the flow and usage of personal data, create a relationship of trust between persons and entities processing the personal data, protect the rights of individuals whose personal data are processed, to create a framework for organisational and technical measures in processing of data, laying down norms for social media intermediary, cross-border transfer, accountability of entities processing personal data, remedies for unauthorised and harmful processing, and to establish a Data Protection Authority of India for the said purposes and for matters connected therewith.
On 16 December 2021 the JPC submitted its report along with a draft Data Protection Bill, 2021 (New Bill) to the Parliament of India.
The New Bill is expected to be passed into Indian law later this year by the Parliament.
The previous iteration of the New Bill was modelled primarily along the lines of its European Union counterpart, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, the New Bill is different from GDPR in material respects and is broader in scope than GDPR, for example it includes non-personal data, regulations on social media platforms, and data localisation.
The Bill is now likely to be passed by Parliament in its next session, beginning in February 2022, and likely will enter into force in the first half of 2022.
UAE’s Federal Data Protection Law No. 45 of 2021 (Law), which came into effect on 2 January 2022. Companies will have 6 months from the date of executive regulations, to be issued by March 20th, 2022, to get compliant with the law. The law focuses mainly on data subject rights, data breach requirements, data protection impact assessments, data transfer requirements and notification and record-keeping requirements. UAE data office will be the regulatory authority and has the power to process all personal data by controllers and processors located in the UAE and outside the UAE and can exempt UAE companies that do not process large volumes of personal data. In a nutshell, the law clearly explains the usage of personal data and lays out measures for the controllers to process the same with the awareness of any possible data breach. The Data Protection office (DPO) appointment and their roles, the rights of the data subjects, administrative penalties in case of any breach, etc. are defined well in this law.
The Law applies to:
- The processing of Personal Data of Data Subjects residing in the UAE or having a workplace in the UAE;
- Controllers or Processors established in the UAE that carry out the activities of Processing Personal Data for Data Subjects in the UAE or abroad; and
- Controllers or Processors established outside of the UAE that carry out the activities of Processing Personal Data for Data Subjects in the UAE.
The Law does not apply to:
- Government agencies that Process Personal Data;
- Personal Data held by security and judicial authorities;
- Data Subjects who process their Personal Data for solely personal purposes;
- Personal Data that relates to the health of a Data Subject and which is subject to specific legislation regulating the protection and processing of health data;
- Personal Data relating to banking, credit data, and information which are subject to specific legislation regulating the protection and processing of such Personal Data; or
- Companies and institutions located in free zones in the UAE which have their own legislation for the protection of personal data (i.e., these are currently the Dubai International Financial Centre and the Abu Dhabi Global Market).
Legal bases for the Collection, process, disclosure and use of Personal Information
The disclosure and transfer of personal data must meet the below conditions which are used in order to establish our legal basis:
- to perform a contract between the individual and the Company;
- verifying your identity to comply with legal obligations;
- to establish, exercise or defend legal claims;
- if none of the conditions listed above apply, the individual has explicitly consented to the overseas transfer (In specific situations, we can collect and process your data with your consent. For example, when you tick a box to receive by email marketing materials).
How long do we store information about you for?
In order to comply with the AML regulation AC, as a Law Firm regulated by the Cyprus Bar Association, is obliged to keep the data up to 5 years after the ceasing of the business relationship. Upon termination/completion of the 5 years period, the Company will destruct the data since the legal basis will not be valid anymore.
Furthermore, AC as a company, is obliged by the Tax Authorities to keep the data up to 7 years after the ceasing of the business relationship. Although, there are cases in which when the relationship with the client arises, a gap of a long timeframe intrudes. These circumstances require that the company stores the data for as long as it is needed to. The Company wishes to make clear that if a relationship does not arise and/or it arose only once, and for a long time it never had been assigned tasks from the client, then the Company will store these data for 7 years (as the obligation by the Tax Law requires, independently of the fact that the relationship was not ceased written or verbally). Upon termination of the period of 7 years, the Company will destruct the data as our legal obligation will not be valid anymore.
We follow a data retention policy, depending on the activity for which the data have been collected. The retention policy determines the retention time of each data and when to destroy information that is no longer needed for legal, regulatory or commercial reasons.
However, this may be longer in some instances, for example when dealing with a claim we may need to hold the information for a period of time relevant to the one the claim is being handled.
For other jurisdictions we will be subject to the requirements of the relevant jurisdiction in question and this may not always reflect those of the Republic of Cyprus.
Overall, the criteria used to establish the period for which personal data will be stored is determined by regulatory or legal requirements. This is also supported by AC Data Protection Policy that such information must not be kept for any longer than necessary to fulfil the purposes for which it was collected.
Security of Personal Information:
Access and Correction
If you wish to access or update the Personal Information you submitted at AC website, or to make any inquiries about the processing of your information, please contact us. We provide individuals with access to their Personal Information as required by applicable data protection and privacy laws.
The Individuals have the following rights:
- Right of access – request access to any personal data we hold about them;
- Right of rectification -have any personal data which we hold about them which is inaccurate or incomplete rectified;
- Right to be forgotten – have personal data erased;
- Right to restriction of processing – have the processing of individual’s personal data restricted;
- Right of portability – To be provided with the personal data that the individual has supplied to us in a portable format that can be transmitted to another organisation without hindrance;
- Right to object – object to certain types of processing, including processing based on legitimate interests, automated processing (which includes profiling) and processing for direct marketing purposes; and
- Right to object to automated processing, including profiling -not be subject to a decision that is based solely on automated processing which produces a legal effect or which has a similar significant effect for the individual.
If the individual wishes to exercise any of the rights set out above, he/she must make the request in writing to the Data Protection Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note some of these rights are restricted in some circumstances.
If the individual has provided his/her consent to any of the processing of his/her personal data, he/she has the right to withdraw his/her consent to that processing at any time, where relevant. He/she must contact the Data Protection Officer if he/she wishes to do so.
If he/she objects to processing based on legitimate interests, we must no longer process that personal data unless we can demonstrate compelling legitimate grounds for the processing which override his/her interests, rights and freedoms or that the processing is required for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
Means Of Social Networking
Our Company has its own social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn). We remind you that these platforms are publicly accessible and any content, comment, personal information you provide will be visible to the general public and for this reason we recommend that you be careful with the content of the information you put using these platforms. Information about the processing of personal data by the relevant social media can be found in their privacy terms.
How you can petition for complaints
It is very important the principles of privacy to be followed and we should take all the appropriate measures to avoid any breach or loss of these data.
We ensure that the personal data you disclosed to us, are saved in a platform which is protected with additional security factors.
Any breach of the GDPR and/or other relevant Data Protection Acts will be taken seriously and if you consider that the data protection principles have not been followed in respect of personal data about yourself or others you have the right to lodge a complaint with the relevant data protection supervisory authority.
Our Protection Supervisory Authority is the Personal Data Protection Bureau (Independent Supervisory Authority for the Protection of Individuals). If you have any issues with our processing of your personal data and would like to make a complaint, you may contact the Personal Data Protection Bureau on (+357) 22 818 456 or at 1 Iasonos, 1082 Nicosia, Cyprus.
Areti Charidemou & Associates LLC – Law Firm
21 Vasili Michailidi Street | 3026 Limassol – Cyprus
Postal Address: PO Box 54708 | CY-3727 | Cyprus
T: +357 25 50 80 00 | F: +357 25 50 80 90
Data Protection Officer