AKI - 2.1.-3/19/4304

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AKI - 2.1.-3/19/4304
Authority: AKI (Estonia)
Jurisdiction: Estonia
Relevant Law: Article 15(1) GDPR
Article 15(3) GDPR
Article 85(2) HMS
Article 79(1)(4) HMS
Type: Complaint
Outcome: Upheld
Decided: 10.01.2020
Fine: None
Parties: EPLÜ
National Case Number/Name: 2.1.-3/19/4304
European Case Law Identifier: n/a
Appeal: Unknown
Original Language(s): Estonian
Original Source: AKI (in ET)
Initial Contributor: n/a

The Estonian DPA (AKI) ruled that any settlement of claims between data controller and data subject does not deprive the latter of the possibility to exercise their right of access according to Article 15 GDPR, regardless of the fact that the data controller is a public or private entity.

English Summary[edit | edit source]

Facts[edit | edit source]

A individual submitted a request to receive information to the Estonian Shooting Association, hereinafter EPLÜ. The information regarded minutes of meetings of the EPLÜ's board about issues concerning the individual -among others. EPLÜ refused to comply with the request claiming that it is a legal entity mainly governed by private law. Only information which relates to the performance of its public tasks could be disclosed upon request. EPLÜ also claimed that some of the requested documents had been destroyed. The individual complained before the DPA revoking Article 15(1) and (3) GDPR and the DPA to order the delivering of the requested information.

Dispute[edit | edit source]

Holding[edit | edit source]

The DPA found that there was a court decision on the the issue at stake and the same parties, which was final and prohibited the request the information at stake. Moreover, the fact that the parties made a settlement of their claims does not deprive an individual from their right of access when their personal data is processed. The fact that the information requested does not concern the public tasks of EPLÜ as a data controller is not relevant for the exercise of the right of access according to Article 15 GDPR.

The DPA ordered the reopening of the judicial proceedings with regard to the issue at stake.

Comment[edit | edit source]

Further Resources[edit | edit source]

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English Machine Translation of the Decision[edit | edit source]

The decision below is a machine translation of the Estonian original. Please refer to the Estonian original for more details.

public Information Case No. 2.1.-3/19/4304
Pursuant to Section 85(2) of the Administrative Procedure Act (HMS)
I decide:
1)	uphold the request for internal review;
2)	annul the decision to remit the complaint of the Supervision Authority of 05.11.2019 No 2.1-3/19/3612 and reopen the complaint lodged by the applicant of the complaint of 10.10.2019 and refer the matter to another body.
This decision can be challenged within 30 days by lodging an appeal with the Administrative Court under the Code of Administrative Court Procedure.
On 23.09.2019 AiWil on behalf of the individual I of its client, AiWil submitted to MTÜ a request for information from the Estonian Practical Slepping Association (hereinafter EPLÜ) requesting the issue of:
1)	Complaint information provided by individual II to the Board of the EPLÜ on individual I of shooting sportsman.
2)	Minutes of the meeting of the Board of the EPLÜ, where the Board of the EPLU discussed the conflict which had arisen in respect of individual I and did not find a unanimous decision on the resolution and decided to bring the discussion on individual I issues to the EPLU General Assembly.
3)	Minutes of the meeting of the Board of the EPLÜ, which decided to convene an extraordinary general meeting on 30.08.2018 at which the proposal to exclude private individual I from the EPL’s sport shooters was to be discussed.
4)	Invitation letter from the Board of the EPLÜ to individual I to attend the extraordinary general meeting on 30/08/2018, which was to deal with the proposal to exclude individual I from the EPL’s sport shooting athletes.
The EBU refused to comply with the request on the grounds that the EBU is a legal person governed by private law which is the holder of the information only if it performs public tasks and only in respect of the information relating to the performance of those tasks. The EPLÜ agreed that it would also partially perform public functions and would be the holder of information within the meaning of the Public Information Act as regards the information relating to practical shooting and the organisation of practical competitions. However, considered that the documents requested in the request for information did not concern the performance of public tasks, but related to civil case No 2-18-5797, in which a compromise had been concluded which had entered into force. The EPLU also stated that some of the requested documents had already been destroyed. The EPLÜ referred to Section 23(2)(2) of the PIA when refusing to comply with a request for information.
Private individual I lodged an objection with the Data Protection Inspectorate on 10.10.2019 considering that the ground for refusal by the EPLÜ of a request for information contained in Section 23(2)(2) of the PIA was irrelevant, since those documents contained information relating to private individual I.The complainant referred to Article 15(1) and (3) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union, according to which a person has the right to obtain data concerning him from processors of personal data, including private legal persons, provided that this does not adversely affect the rights and freedoms of others.The complainant also disagreed with the claim that the documents were destroyed, noting that the requested documents were still in electronic form.According to the applicant, the documents did not in any way relate to the case referred to.On the basis of Section 44(3) of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia and Sections 4 and 19 of the Personal Data Protection Act, the complainant asked the Data Protection Inspectorate to issue an order to the Estonian Practical Shifting Association, which would oblige the Estonian Practical Shifting Association to issue the documents requested by the request for information of 23.09.2019.
The Data Protection Inspectorate returned a complaint on 05.11.2019 on the basis of Section 79(1)(4) of the HMS, taking the view that the information requested relates to the suspension of the status of a private person I ladder, which has been the subject of a court-approved compromise to waive reciprocal claims.
The complainant takes the view that the return of the complaint under Section 79(1)(4) of the HMS is not lawful in the present case, since the subject-matter of the appeal proceedings does not include civil case No 2-18-5797, which was pending before the Harju County Court, and the amicable settlement concluded thereunder.Therefore, in response to a request for information, the complaint concerning the activities of the MTÜEesti Practical Sleeping Association should not have been returned, but should have been examined and decided on the merits of the decision whether or not to grant it.
It is also incorrect to take the view of the senior inspector, who has examined the objection, that a judgment in the same case has become final.In the same case, there is no final judgment on the subject-matter of the appeal proceedings between the same parties.
In civil case No 2-18-5797, ‘the action brought by private individual I against the EPLÜ for compensation for non-material damage’, the subject-matter of the dispute was the unlawful processing of personal data of private individual I and the communication of such data to a third party without the consent of private individual I (see the civil action in Annex 1).
The complainant takes the view that the senior inspector who examined the complaint was not impartial when examining the complaint, since he clearly consulted Xxxxx Xxxxxx, a barrister who was the main instructor for his bachelor’s work at the University of Tartu (See: 	
Https://www.ester.ee/record=b4044977*est) and in civil case No 2-18-5797 "a private action against the EPLÜ for compensation for non-material damage" by a representative of the EPLÜ (see Annex 10 to complaint 10.2019.4) whose son Xxxx Xxxx is also a member of the EPL’s board of directors (see Annex 2 to the EPL’s business register).Xxxxx Xxxx and Xxxx Xxxx relative also work in the Data Protection Inspectorate.
The fact that the objection was returned in breach of the obligation laid down in Section 79(3) of the HMS, since the person is informed of the return of the objection within seven (7) days of the submission of the objection, also casts doubt on the impartiality of the senior inspector, the applicant was informed of the return of the objection within 26 days of the submission of the objection.
The complainant takes the view that the provision to a private individual of the documents requested by the request for information of 23.09.2019 cannot be refused by the Estonian Association for the Purchasing of MTÜ Eesti Practical, since the information and views contained in the requested documents are of direct concern to it.The applicant has a legitimate right of access to the information and observations contained in those documents and, if necessary, to challenge them before a court.
In the light of the foregoing, the applicant claims that the Court should:
1.	Annuls the decision to recover the complaint of 05.11.2019 in Case No 2.1.-3/19/3612 relating to the protection of personal data;
2.	Take the administrative action and issue an order to the NPO requiring the NPO to issue the documents requested in the request for information on 23.09.2019.
After consulting the documents transmitted, it cannot be accepted that a judgment has become final in the same case, which prohibits requests for information or requests for information concerning itself.Nor does that order deal in any way with the contested request for information.The amicable settlement endorsed by the Court in the request for internal review concerns the unlawful transfer of the applicant’s data to a third party and the restoration of the sports shooter’s membership, and not the issue of the documents requested in the request for information of 23.09.2019.Consequently, the judgment in the case at issue has not become final.Although both the applicant and the EPL have confirmed in the compromise that they do not have any claims or claims against each other, this nevertheless concerns the circumstances relating to the suspension of the applicant’s status as a shooter and to civil case No 2-18-5797, but does not deprive the person of the right to make requests for information or to request information concerning him or her.
Even if the documents requested by the applicant do not, in this case, concern the performance of the EBU’s public tasks, it follows from Article 15(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union that a person is entitled to obtain confirmation from the controller that personal data relating to him are being processed and accessThe ed.It follows from paragraph 3 of that article that a person is also entitled to receive copies of the personal data processed.This has also been pointed out by the complainant in his complaint, which has regrettably been overlooked by the body conducting the proceedings.
In the light of the foregoing, I consider that the complaint against the decision to return the complaint is well founded and that it was not lawful to return the complaint on the ground that the judgment in the same case had become final.The decision to return the complaint should therefore be annulled and the complaint lodged on 10.10.2019 should be reopened.
However, as regards the impartiality of the body conducting the proceedings, I cannot agree with the applicant.The fact that a close relative of a former board member of the EPL has guided the final work of the handler for years ago does not make it possible to claim that the handler consulted the supervisor of his former work at the end of the administrative appeal.Such a claim is unfounded.However, in order to rule out further doubts as to the impartiality of the body conducting the proceedings, I shall appoint another body to resolve the appeal.
Director-General of Pille Lehis