European Court of Justice is addressed in case regarding the annulment of the decision of Data State Inspectorate

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1 June 2017

On 1 June, the Department of Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court stayed proceedings in case in which Data State Inspectorate imposed on the applicant an obligation to delete a video published on the internet, in which police officers at the police station were recorded. The Supreme Court, by referring preliminary questions to the European Court of Justice, seeks to ascertain whether such person’s actions, that are dealt with in the present case, – video-recording of police officers at the police station at the time of carrying out their duties and publishing the recorded material on the internet – correspond to Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data. As well as the Supreme Court looks forward to find out whether Directive 45/46 can be interpreted in a way that that the above-mentioned actions can be considered as processing of personal data for the purposes of journalism within the meaning of Section 9 of the Directive. Proceedings in the case are suspended until the entry into force of ruling of the European Court of Justice.

The applicant, while at the State Police station premises, filmed the documentation of his explanation-giving regarding the administrative offence. The police officers can be seen and heard in the video-record. The applicant posted the video material on the website www.youtube.com.

Decision of 30 August 2013 of Data State Inspectorate established that the applicant has violated first paragraph of Section 8 of Personal Data Protection Law, by not providing police officers as data subjects with information on the intended purpose of processing of personal data, as implied in the said provision. The applicant has also provided no information to State Data Inspectorate on the purpose of recording video material and its publishing on the website, thus not attesting the compliance of the purpose with Personal Data Protection Law. Therefore, the State Data Inspectorate requested the applicant to ensure that video is deleted from www.youtube.com and other websites.

Applicant addressed the court, requesting to declare State Data Inspectorate's decision unlawful and compensate the damage suffered.

Regional Administrative Court rejected the applicant's claim. The applicant submitted cassation appeal, substantiating his action with freedom of expression and pointing out that video material does not affect private life of police officers.



Information prepared by Baiba Kataja, the Press Secretary of the Supreme Court

Tel.: +371 67020396; e-mail: baiba.kataja@at.gov.lv