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Latvia / Supreme Court, Administrative Department / A420617410 (SKA –15/2016)

Ltd.”Europark Latvia” v Data State Inspectorate (Datu valsts inspekcija) and third party (anonymised)

Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Department of Administrative Cases of Supreme Court
Type:
Decision
Decision date:
04/08/2016

Key facts of the case:

A vehicle belonging to a third party was parked at a parking place belonging to an applicant ltd. “Europark Latvia”. The third party did not pay for parking place. Thereby the applicant issued a penalty receipt to the vehicle belonging to the third party. A debt recovery company of the applicant (with help of a sworn attorney within a contractual relation) obtained personal data information about the owner of the car from the Road Traffic Safety Directorate. The third party submitted a complaint to the Data State Inspectorate about wrongful personal data processing (the vehicle was given to another person and this person had parked the vehicle and did not pay for it, not the owner of the vehicle). The Data State Inspectorate imposed a duty on the applicant to cease the personal data processing of the third party for the recovery of penalty. The applicant appealed the decision of the inspectorate incourt. The Administrative Regional Court accepted the application and revoked the appealed decision.

The court of the first instance concluded that since the rules of the applicant provide for the  right of the applicant to direct a recovery against the owner of the vehicle, the turning  of the applicant to the Road Traffic Safety Directorate for information about the owner of the vecihle conforms to Article  7 and Artcile  10 (1) 1), 2) of the Personal Data Protection Law.

The Data State Inspecorate submitted a cassation complaint.

Outcome of the case:

The Department of Administrative Cases of Supreme Court pointed that according to the Article  96 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia everyone has the right to inviolability of his or her private life, home and correspondence. The right to inviolability of his or her private life is included in the Article  8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and in Article  7 and Article  8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

The right to inviolability of his or her private life includes a person’s right to any kind of his or her data protection (see the Supreme Court 26 March 2015 judgment in case No.SKA-383/2005, article 9; 25 June 2015 judgment in case No.SKA-864/2015, article 6). According to the Section 6 of the Personal Data Protection Law every natural person has the right to protection of his or her personal data. Personal data are any information related to an identified or identifiable natural person. A name and surmane of a person together with a personal identity number and an address of the place of residence is definitely considered as an information related to  an identifiable person (6.11.2003. judgment of European Union Court, case No. C-101/01, article 24), therefore in processing personal data the requirements of Personal Data Protection Law shall be respected.

The processing of personal data is permissible, if it is justified with a ground mentioned in the Section 7 of the Data Protection Law and conforms with the quality requirements of data processing, is legal and fair, is carried out in accordance with the intended purpose and does not exceed the amount required to achieve the target.

The owner of the vehicle has notproved that another person was using his vehicle, therefore the fact that the vehicle has been given for the use to another person is known only by the third party himself. Until proven otherwise, it is considered that the vehicle is used by its owner. Thereby it is presumed that the vehicle at a given time is used and placed in  the parking place by the owner.

The court concluded that the Regional court had correctly interpreted the Section 7 2) of the Personal Data Protection Law, namely, in particular case the processing of data results from contractual obligations of the data subject.

The Department of Administrative Cases of Supreme Court decided to leave the judgment of court of first instance unamended and to reject the cassation complaint.