text

Portugal / Portuguese Data Protection Authority / Opinion 21/2017

Country

PortugalPortugal

Title

Portugal / Portuguese Data Protection Authority / Opinion 21/2017

View full Case

Year

2017

Decision/ruling/judgment date

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Crime type(s) concerned/related

Incitement to violence or hatred

Related hate bias motivation

Ethnic origin Race Religion Nationality Gender Migrant status

Groups affected

Muslims Migrants Refugees & Asylum seekers EU citizens & nationals with migrant background Third country nationals Foreigners Black people or of African origin Other religious groups

Court/Body type

High regulatory authority

Court/Body

Portuguese Data Protection Authority

Key facts of the case

The Parliament introduced amendments to the national laws regulating the principle of equal treatment and the prohibition of discrimination. The new Law seeks to systematise legislation on discrimination, introduces references to multiple discrimination and discrimination by association, strengthens the composition and tasks of the Commission for Equality and against Racial Discrimination, and introduces mediation as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism (with the consent of the parties involved). With regard to the publication of the decisions, the legislative initiative did not clarify, initially, if publication covered also discriminations carried out by natural persons. The eventual publication of decisions relating to natural persons raises the issue of the protection of personal data.

Main reasoning/argumentation

Providing on-line information on discriminatory practices by natural persons, within administrative offence proceedings or in the civil court proceedings, is excessive because it involves the risk of perpetuating information beyond the necessary time, undermining the principle of proportionality.

Is the case related to the application of the Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia, the Racial Equality Directive?

Key issues (concepts, interpretations) clarified by the case

The internet dissemination of data relating to natural persons, including injured parties themselves, in the context of administrative offence proceedings relating to conduct of discrimination, will have to consider the risks that such disclosure to the public will entail in relation to the protection of personal data.
Online publication of data relating to natural persons will have to be reported to the Commission as it involves the processing of personal data. The internet dissemination of information on discriminatory practices by natural persons, within administrative offence proceedinsg or in the civil court proceedings, is excessive because it involves the risk of perpetuating information beyond the necessary time, undermining the principle of proportionality.

Results (sanctions, outcome) and key consequences or implications of the case

The Portuguese Data Protection Authority has recommended to the Parliament to take into consideration the risks associated with the dissemination on the internet of information relating to natural persons. The Portuguese Data Protection Authority was concerned about the internet dissemination of information relating to discriminatory practices carried out by natural persons because it involves the risk of perpetuating information apart from the necessary time, undermining the principle of proportionality. The Parliament followed this recommendation and only mentioned in the text of the law the internet dissemination of information concerned legal persons.

Key quotation in original language and translated into English with reference details

"A disponibilização na internet de informação relativa a práticas discriminatórias levadas a efeito por pessoas singular, seja em sede de processo de contraordenação seja no âmbito de um processo de natureza cível, afigura-se excessiva, na medida em que este meio de comunicação implica uma difusão em larga escala e o risco de perpetuação da informação mesmo para além do momento em que ela é necessária, pondo em risco o princípio da proporcionalidade". The internet dissemination of information relating to discriminatory practices carried out by natural persons, whether in the context of administrative offence proceedings or in the context of a civil procedure, seems excessive because it involves the risk of perpetuating information apart from the necessary time, undermining the principle of proportionality.

DISCLAIMERThe information presented here is collected under contract by the FRA's research network FRANET. The information and views contained do not necessarily reflect the views or the official position of the FRA.