Data protection case law Court of Justice

Data minimisation

2 pending referrals

Referral C-115/22 (NADA and Others, 17 Feb 2022)


Referral C-446/21 (Schrems, 20 Jul 2021)


7 preliminary rulings

of 24 Feb 2022, C-175/20 (Valsts ieņēmumu dienests)

1. The provisions 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 the collection by the tax authorities of a Member State from an economic operator of information involving a significant amount of personal data is subject to the requirements of that regulation, in particular those set out in Article 5(1) thereof.

2. The provisions of Regulation 2016/679 must be interpreted as meaning that the tax authorities of a Member State may not derogate from the provisions of Article 5(1) of that regulation where such a right has not been granted to them by a legislative measure within the meaning of Article 23(1) thereof.

3. The provisions of Regulation 2016/679 must be interpreted as not precluding the tax authorities of a Member State from requiring a provider of internet advertisement services to disclose to them information relating to taxpayers who have published advertisements in one of the sections of their internet portal, provided, in particular, that those data are necessary in the light of the specific purposes for which they are collected and that the period to which the data collection relates does not exceed the period strictly necessary to achieve the objective of general interest sought.

of 22 Jun 2021, C-439/19 (Latvijas Republikas Saeima)

The provisions of Regulation (EU) 2016/679, in particular Article 5(1), Article 6(1)(e) and Article 10 thereof, must be interpreted as precluding national legislation which obliges the public body responsible for the register in which penalty points imposed on drivers of vehicles for road traffic offences are entered to make those data accessible to the public, without the person requesting access having to establish a specific interest in obtaining the data.

The provisions of Regulation (EU) 2016/679, in particular Article 5(1), Article 6(1)(e) and Article 10 thereof, must be interpreted as precluding national legislation which authorises the public body responsible for the register in which penalty points imposed on drivers of vehicles for road traffic offences are entered to disclose those data to economic operators for re-use.

of 11 Dec 2019, C-708/18 (Asociatia de Proprietari bloc M5A-ScaraA)

Article 6(1)(c) and Article 7(f) 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, read in the light of Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, must be interpreted as not precluding national provisions which authorise the installation of a video surveillance system, such as the system at issue in the main proceedings, installed in the common parts of a residential building, for the purposes of pursuing legitimate interests of ensuring the safety and protection of individuals and property, without the consent of the data subjects, if the processing of personal data carried out by means of the video surveillance system at issue fulfils the conditions laid down in Article 7(f), which it is for the referring court to determine.

of 27 Sep 2017, C-73/16 (Puškár)

Article 7(e) Directive 95/46 must be interpreted as not precluding the processing of personal data by the authorities of a Member State for the purpose of collecting tax and combating tax fraud such as that effected by drawing up of a list of persons such as that at issue in the main proceedings, without the consent of the data subjects, provided that, first, those authorities were invested by the national legislation with tasks carried out in the public interest within the meaning of that article, that the drawing-up of that list and the inclusion on it of the names of the data subjects in fact be adequate and necessary for the attainment of the objectives pursued and that there be sufficient indications to assume that the data subjects are rightly included in that list and, second, that all of the conditions for the lawfulness of that processing of personal data imposed by Directive 95/46 be satisfied.

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

Article 12(b) and subparagraph (a) of the first paragraph of Article 14 of Directive 95/46 are to be interpreted as meaning that, in order to comply with the rights laid down in those provisions and in so far as the conditions laid down by those provisions are in fact satisfied, the operator of a search engine is obliged to remove from the list of results displayed following a search made on the basis of a person’s name links to web pages, published by third parties and containing information relating to that person, also in a case where that name or information is not erased beforehand or simultaneously from those web pages, and even, as the case may be, when its publication in itself on those pages is lawful.

Article 12(b) and subparagraph (a) of the first paragraph of Article 14 of Directive 95/46 are to be interpreted as meaning that, when appraising the conditions for the application of those provisions, it should inter alia be examined whether the data subject has a right that the information in question relating to him personally should, at this point in time, no longer be linked to his name by a list of results displayed following a search made on the basis of his name, without it being necessary in order to find such a right that the inclusion of the information in question in that list causes prejudice to the data subject. As the data subject may, in the light of his fundamental rights under Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter, request that the information in question no longer be made available to the general public on account of its inclusion in such a list of results, those rights override, as a rule, not only the economic interest of the operator of the search engine but also the interest of the general public in having access to that information upon a search relating to the data subject’s name. However, that would not be the case if it appeared, for particular reasons, such as the role played by the data subject in public life, that the interference with his fundamental rights is justified by the preponderant interest of the general public in having, on account of its inclusion in the list of results, access to the information in question. 

Judgment of 30 May 2013, C-342/12 (Worten)

Article 6(1)(b) and (c) and Article 7(c) and (e) of Directive 95/46 do not preclude national legislation, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which requires an employer to make the record of working time available to the national authority responsible for monitoring working conditions so as to allow its immediate consultation, provided that this obligation is necessary for the purposes of the performance by that authority of its task of monitoring the application of the legislation relating to working conditions, in particular as regards working time.

Judgment of 20 May 2003, C-465/00 (Österreichischer Rundfunk and Others)

Articles 6(1)(c) and 7(c) and (e) 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 do not preclude national legislation such as that at issue in the main proceedings, provided that it is shown that the wide disclosure not merely of the amounts of the annual income above a certain threshold of persons employed by the bodies subject to control by the Rechnungshof but also of the names of the recipients of that income is necessary for and appropriate to the objective of proper management of public funds pursued by the legislature, that being for the national courts to ascertain.

Articles 6(1)(c) and 7(c) and (e) of Directive 95/46 are directly applicable, in that they may be relied on by an individual before the national courts to oust the application of rules of national law which are contrary to those provisions.


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