Turkey introduces new rules on the use of geographic data

The law amending environmental law and other laws (“Right“) was published in the Official Gazette on June 15, 2022. The law introduces significant amendments to Law No. 7221 amending the law on geographic information systems and other laws.

Recent development

Within the framework of the law, the upper limit of the fee for the geographical authorization regulated by the law amending the law on geographical information systems and other laws has been clarified, and the certification/certification obligations registration regarding software, sensors and hardware that collect geographic data, as well as administrative penalties, have been regulated.

The law is available online here (in Turkish).

What’s new?

The main changes introduced by the law are as follows:

  • Free sharing of data with institutions, organizations and universities within the framework of cooperation for revenue sharing in the field of data mining and generation of new data, as well as the collection, production, the sharing or selling of geographical data in the National Geographic Data Matrix of Turkey by natural and legal persons, must comply with the Personal Data Protection Law No. 6698.
  • The right of the permit to be obtained from the Ministry of the Environment, Urban Planning and Climate Change (“Ministry“) shall not exceed the equivalent in Turkish lira of 100,000 times the permit fee per sheet determined for domestic and foreign natural and legal persons.
  • The software must be certified under the Geographic Information System by the Ministry. Certificate fees will be determined and published annually by the ministry. Procedures and principles regarding certificates will be regulated by the ministry.
  • Sensors and equipment that collect geographic data must be electronically registered in the system to be put in place by the ministry. Registration and certification requirements are not required for software, sensors and hardware that operate in the field of defence, security and intelligence.
  • The amendments regulate in detail the administrative fines to be applied in case of violation of the obligations stipulated in the law amending the law on geographical information systems and other laws. In this context, if the authorization of geographical data is not obtained within three months from the date of application of the administrative fine, an additional administrative fine of TRY 100,000 will be implemented for each detention of use without a certificate. The administrative fine can be challenged before the competent administrative court within 30 days. This decision will be final.
  • Within the framework of the cooperation with the ministry, natural and legal persons can obtain a license from the ministry to collect, produce, share, sell, generate and exploit geographic data in the Turkey Geographic Data Responsibility Matrix.

Conclusion

In accordance with the law, the upper limit has been set for the collection, production, transfer and sale of geographic data and the obligations regarding the license and certificate to be obtained by those who will engage in such activities have been regulated. With the amendments, the administrative sanctions to be imposed in case of violation were also regulated. Stakeholders should closely follow the amendments and secondary regulations to be issued by the ministry regarding procedures and principles.

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