The Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA) published its decision of 29 September 2020 with number 2020/DK-İD/274 regarding the anticipated secondary regulation on social network providers titled Procedures and Principles for Social Network Providers (“Regulation“) in today’s Official Gazette No. 31262 of 2 October 2020.
The Regulation includes detailed provisions on the scope and application of the recent obligations introduced for social network providers as part of the amendments to Law No. 5651. Additional information and explanations within the Regulation might also shed light on the practical and/or potential interpretation of the ICTA regarding the relevant obligations and social network providers’ compliance with them. The Regulation is available online here (in Turkish).
The Regulation provides the following related obligations or in addition to the obligations under Law No. 5651, which might be considered key takeaway points at first glance:
- Exemption: Providing social interaction capabilities in a limited/partial manner is not sufficient to fall within the scope of a social network provider (e.g., providing social interaction capabilities as secondary features to the main service/product such as the comments function on a news website).
- Representative: A foreign social network provider’s representative in Turkey might be a legal entity established in Turkey.
- Use of Turkish: Individuals should be able to file their requests in Turkish and a social network provider should answer those requests in Turkish.
- Data localization: Data localization should prioritize “essential user information” and any other information to be decided by the ICTA
- Compliance assessment: The criteria for assessing the compliance level of a social network provider with respect to the processing of individual requests are established.
- Out-of-scope confirmation: Social network providers may apply to the ICTA if the daily access count drops below 1 million and the ICTA confirms with a notification that the social network provider is “out of scope.”
The Regulation clearly provides further guidance for social network providers regarding their obligations under Law No. 5615 and their compliance with those obligations. Social network providers should consider the requirements and procedures within the Regulation while establishing mechanisms to comply with their new obligations under Law No. 5651.
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