In Austria, there is no “group privilege“ with regard to the exchange of employee data. Each and every data processing, including the transfer of employee data to other group companies may only be carried out in case of a legally accepted legitimate reason.

Based on Sec. 17 para 2 lit. 6 of the Data Protection Act, a regulation has however been enacted on 18 September 2012, which – for the first time – provides for exceptions from registration duties with the data protection authorities with regard to data transfers within a group.

Certain data of employees may therefore from now on be transferred to other group companies if they are required for an appointment data base, a career data base or the management of bonus or stock option programs.  As a result also the transfer of such data to group companies outside the EU is no longer subject to the approval of Austrian Data Protection Authorities.

These changes are in effect since 19 September 2012.