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Lithuania / Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania / A-1452-442/2018

A.G. v. State Data Protection Inspectorate (Valstybinė duomenų apsaugos inspekcija)

Policy area:
Information society
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania
Type:
Decision
Decision date:
07/02/2018

Key facts of the case:

The Applicant submitted complaint to the State Data Protection Inspectorate (Valstybinė duomenų apsaugos inspekcija) regarding video cameras installed on the house of the neighbor (S.B.), which also faced the private territory, windows of the bedroom of the applicant. The Inspectorate issued the decision to cancel the examination of the complaint, as it does not fell within the competence of the Inspectorate. The Inspectorate stated that S.B. carried out surveillance only for his personal needs not related to business or profession, therefore, Law on Legal Protection of Personal Data (hereinafter – the Law) shall not be applicable (Article 1(4): This Law shall not apply if personal data are processed by a natural person only for his personal needs not related to business or profession). Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (Vilniaus apygardos administracinis teismas) upheld the applicant’s complaint, quashed the decision of the Inspectorate and returned it for the investigation. Court stated that interpretation of the Article 1(4) of the Law provided by the responded was formal and did not follow the relevant case-law, moreover, the investigation was incomplete – the respondent only determined the fact that there are no registered legal persons in the area of monitoring and S.B. does not pursue business activities. The Inspectorate appealed the decision to the Supreme Administrative Court. 

Key legal question raised by the Court:

Whether the situation, when camera system installed on a family home for the purposes of the protection, but such a system also monitors a private space of others falls within the exception set out in the Article 1(4) of the Law on Legal Protection of Personal Data.

Outcome of the case:

The Supreme Administrative Court rejected the appeal lodged by the respondent and left unchanged the decision of the first instance court.