Share and Share Alike – Childhood Lessons Not Approved by CJEU

Back in July I posted on the Opinion of the AG in Case C-201/14 Bara v Presedintele Casei Nationala de Asigurari de Sanatate and the CJEU has now handed down its judgment, happily for me in English. The context is that people deriving their income from independent activities were called to pay their contributions to the Romanian National Fund for health insurance, following a tax notice issued by the Romanian health insurance fund. However, that tax notice was calculated on the basis of data on income provided National Tax Administration Agency under an internal administrative protocol. The complaint was that the transfer by the Tax Agency to the Health Insurance Fund of personal data, particularly related to income, was in breach of Directive 95/46/EC because no consent had been provided to the transfer, the data subjects had not been informed of the transfer and the transfer was not for the same purpose as the data was originally supplied.

The CJEU has dealt with the matter in pretty unambiguous terms. Such data sharing was a breach of Article 6 of the Directive, which requires processing to be fair and lawful, because data subjects were not informed of the transfer to another public body or the purpose for the transfer: at [34]. It was a breach of Article 10, which requires the data subject to be provided with information concerning the identity of the controller and the purposes of processing, because no such information had been provided, and the derogations in Article 13 had to be done through legislative measures, whilst the Romanian public bodies simply did it by way of a protocol: at [38] and [41]. Moreover, it was a breach of Article 11, which requires a controller who has not obtained the data from the subject itself to inform the data subject of its identity and the purposes of processing, because neither of the public authorities had told data subjects anything at all: at [43].

All in all, your mother was wrong. Do not share things. Or at least, do not share personal data without providing very clear information to the data subject about what is happening and why. It doesn’t matter if you are a public authority. Go to bed without any supper.

Christopher Knight