Effective procedure – transparency : content of the information to complainants
Article(s) involved (national, EU, or other): Article 77
Sometimes the update is not substantial enough for the complainant to understand what has been done or still needs to be done.
The information shared with the complainants
should be substantial, and mention at least (1) the status of admissibility of the complaint; (2) the actions that have already been undertaken by the SA/LSA and the next envisaged steps; (3) whether they intend to start an investigation, and if no, why not (4) the expected timeline for a decision, (5) the reasons for any delay, and (6) the possibility for the complainants to share their views.
This matter is not included in any noyb concept, but should be included in a Regulation, when defining these updates.
noyb’s 101 complaints are a good example: The replies received by the Austrian SA (as CSA) when asking for an update is usually a standard reply along the lines of “complaint continues to be under investigation… coordination with LSA …” without any report on what has happened so far. In Luxembourg, never has anything substantial to report, other than the fact that the Luxembourgish SA had declared themselves to act as LSA. When asking the Luxembourgish SA for an update, the only replies are boilerplate responses along the lines of “complaint continues to be under investigation”. C016 has been pending for 3 years and 9 months and we know virtually nothing about it’s progress. C040 has been pending for 1 year, with no information whatsoever.
The same concerns cookie banners complaints. The AT and most German SAs (with the exception of Berlin, maybe) give very scarce short “updates” that they are still investigating. The PL SA likes to send very long formal letters with lots of text but they do not provide an substantial information apart from “we are investigating the issue”.