Data protection case law Court of Justice

Definitions - Data Controller

6 preliminary rulings

of 9 Jul 2020, C-272/19 (Land Hessen)

Article 4(7) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) must be interpreted as meaning that, in so far as a Petitions Committee of the parliament of a Federated State of a Member State determines, alone or with others, the purposes and means of the processing of personal data, that committee must be categorised as a ‘controller’, within the meaning of that provision, and consequently the processing of personal data carried out by that committee falls within the scope of that regulation and, in particular, of Article 15 thereof.

Judgment of 24 Sep 2019, C-136/17 (GC and Others)

The provisions of Article 8(1) and (5) of 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 must be interpreted as meaning that the prohibition or restrictions relating to the processing of special categories of personal data, mentioned in those provisions, apply also, subject to the exceptions provided for by the directive, to the operator of a search engine in the context of his responsibilities, powers and capabilities as the controller of the processing carried out in connection with the activity of the search engine, on the occasion of a verification performed by that operator, under the supervision of the competent national authorities, following a request by the data subject.

Judgment of 29 Jul 2019, C-40/17 (Fashion ID)

The operator of a website, such as Fashion ID GmbH & Co. KG, that embeds on that website a social plugin causing the browser of a visitor to that website to request content from the provider of that plugin and, to that end, to transmit to that provider personal data of the visitor can be considered to be a controller, within the meaning of Article 2(d) of Directive 95/46. That liability is, however, limited to the operation or set of operations involving the processing of personal data in respect of which it actually determines the purposes and means, that is to say, the collection and disclosure by transmission of the data at issue.

Judgment of 10 Jul 2018, C-25/17 (Jehovan todistajat)

Article 2(d) of Directive 95/46, read in the light of Article 10(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, must be interpreted as meaning that it supports the finding that a religious community is a controller, jointly with its members who engage in preaching, for the processing of personal data carried out by the latter in the context of door-to-door preaching organised, coordinated and encouraged by that community, without it being necessary that the community has access to those data, or to establish that that community has given its members written guidelines or instructions in relation to the data processing.

Judgment of 5 Jun 2018, C-210/16 (Wirtschaftsakademie Schleswig-Holstein)

Article 2(d) of 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 must be interpreted as meaning that the concept of ‘controller’ within the meaning of that provision encompasses the administrator of a fan page hosted on a social network.

Judgment of 13 May 2014, C-131/12 (Google Spain and Google)

Article 2(b) and (d) of 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 are to be interpreted as meaning that, first, the activity of a search engine consisting in finding information published or placed on the internet by third parties, indexing it automatically, storing it temporarily and, finally, making it available to internet users according to a particular order of preference must be classified as ‘processing of personal data’ within the meaning of Article 2(b) when that information contains personal data and, second, the operator of the search engine must be regarded as the ‘controller’ in respect of that processing, within the meaning of Article 2(d).


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