The FENCA “Federation of European National Collection Association” is an association to which the most important European collection associations belong. FENCA’s tasks are to represent the interests of its members at an international level, to have a say in legislation relating to receivables management and to promote and train its members.
With the adoption of the European Data Protection Basic Regulation (DSGVO) in spring 2017, it was FENCA’s task to understand and define how the DSGVO should be implemented and monitored in the collection industry. Collection service providers had to review their data protection guidelines and internal processes to ensure that they were in compliance with the new principles of the DSGVO. However, as in many other industries, the DSGVO does not explicitly mention industry-related problems. To help FENCA’s members comply with the DSGVO, FENCA has been working on the creation of a Code of Conducts (CoC) for data protection regarding debt collection companies throughout Europe.
FENCA’s draft code of Conducts is based on Art.40 of the DSGVO. This recommends that the various sectors develop their own codes of conduct in order to achieve a sector-specific implementation of the DSGVO.
The Code of Conduct was adopted by FENCA in Strasbourg on 26 October 2018. After intensive exchange, the Code of Conduct was submitted to the European Data Protection Exclusion Board (EDPB) in September 2019. The EDPB ensures that the DSGVO is applied uniformly in the EU member states.
What advantages does the FENCA CoC bring? It makes it easier for the affiliated debt collection companies to ensure compliance with the DSGVO and thus avoid the risk of fines or non-compliance. The Code of Conduct also ensures that every supervisory authority in the EU has an understanding of debt collection and the associated processes and business practices. Once approved by the EDPB, the Code of Conduct becomes a legally binding interpretation of the DSGVO.