Attention – We have won.
Yes, it is true XD.
Last week the Senate approved the Law on Business Secrets.
This is the mandatory transposition of the European Trade Secrets Directive approved in May 2016, Directive 2016/943.
Perhaps you may remember that this directive was strongly opposed by European organizations that we defend access to information and the fight against abuses.
Xnet led this campaign within Spain in coordination with the European coalition.
Many victories were achieved on the first draft that intended to make it impossible to uncover bad practices of companies and corporations, as our case Bankia or the case of Volkswagen pollution, by shielding itself in the need to preserve business secrets.
We’ve scored a few, especially to preserve the work of journalists, but a weak flank remained unsullied since ultimately the Directive did not explicitly protect the possibility of uncovering unlawful business praxis by people other than journalists. In short, once again whistleblowers or activist groups were not protected.
Now there was the option to closely monitor the transposition to correct this bug at this time.
And so we did. The Spanish law, as it happened with the Danish ome (June 2018), has added an exception clause to the law to ensure that it is not a crime to reveal a commercial secret when such revelation is in the public interest. Through the exception clause the freedom of information and expression is guaranteed, as well as the possibility of acting as a whistleblower.
Article 2 – paragraph 3. b: “To ultimately to discover, in defence of the general interest, any fault, irregularity or illegal activity that are directly related to said business secret”.
We thank ERC for helping us in monitoring the amendments. Thank you.