Data protection case law Court of Justice

Storage limitation

2 pending referrals

Referral C-64/22 (SCHUFA Holding, 2 Feb 2022)


Referral C-26/22 (SCHUFA Holding, 11 Jan 2022)


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.

Judgment of 20 Dec 2017, C-434/16 (Peter Nowak v Data Protection Commissioner)

Article 2(a) 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, in circumstances such as those of the main proceedings, the written answers submitted by a candidate at a professional examination and any comments made by an examiner with respect to those answers constitute personal data, within the meaning of that provision.

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 9 Mar 2017, C-398/15 (Manni)

Article 6(1)(e), Article 12(b) and subparagraph (a) of the first paragraph of Article 14 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 conjunction with Article 3 of the First Council Directive 68/151/EEC of 9 March 1968 on co-ordination of safeguards which, for the protection of the interests of members and others, are required by Member States of companies within the meaning of the second paragraph of Article 58 of the Treaty, with a view to making such safeguards equivalent throughout the Community, as amended by Directive 2003/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 July 2003, must be interpreted as meaning that, as EU law currently stands, it is for the Member States to determine whether the natural persons referred to in Article 2(1)(d) and (j) of that directive may apply to the authority responsible for keeping, respectively, the central register, commercial register or companies register to determine, on the basis of a case-by-case assessment, if it is exceptionally justified, on compelling legitimate grounds relating to their particular situation, to limit, on the expiry of a sufficiently long period after the dissolution of the company concerned, access to personal data relating to them, entered in that register, to third parties who can demonstrate a specific interest in consulting that data.

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 7 May 2009, C-553/07 (Rijkeboer)

Article 12(a) 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 requires Member States to ensure a right of access to information on the recipients or categories of recipient of personal data and on the content of the data disclosed not only in respect of the present but also in respect of the past. It is for Member States to fix a time-limit for storage of that information and to provide for access to that information which constitutes a fair balance between, on the one hand, the interest of the data subject in protecting his privacy, in particular by way of his rights to object and to bring legal proceedings and, on the other, the burden which the obligation to store that information represents for the controller.Rules limiting the storage of information on the recipients or categories of recipient of personal data and on the content of the data disclosed to a period of one year and correspondingly limiting access to that information, while basic data is stored for a much longer period, do not constitute a fair balance of the interest and obligation at issue, unless it can be shown that longer storage of that information would constitute an excessive burden on the controller. It is, however, for national courts to make the determinations necessary.


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