APD/GBA (Belgium) - 104/2022
|APD/GBA - 104/2022|
|Relevant Law:||Article 17(1)(c) GDPR|
Article 17(3)(a) GDPR
Article 89 GDPR
|National Case Number/Name:||104/2022|
|European Case Law Identifier:||n/a|
|Original Source:||Beslissing ten gronde 104/2022 (in NL)|
|Initial Contributor:||Enzo Marquet|
The Belgian DPA held that a publisher (De Tijd) lawfully refused a data subject's request for erasure regarding a news article on the data subject in the publisher's online archive, based on it's right to freedom of expression and information.
English Summary[edit | edit source]
Facts[edit | edit source]
The controller is media outlet De Tijd. The data subject had an electric scooter business that was acquired by another company in 2018.
The controller published an article about the data subject and his (previous) business, which is now in its online archives. The data subject asked the controller to anonymize the article. The controller refused.
On 23 March 2021, the data subject submitted a request for mediation to the DPA about the controller's refusal to honor their right to be forgotten. The data subject stated that the article had a negative connotation (even after a revision of inaccuracies at their request). Furthermore, the article would pop up when you searched their same on a search engine, which hurt their professional career.
The controller stated that it is not obligated to remove or anonymize the article, based on the freedom of expression and the integrity of media archives. As for the negative connotation, it followed that the way an article is written falls under editorial freedom. Moreover, the data subject actively sought out and profited from the media attention.
Holding[edit | edit source]
The DPA noted that the right to be forgotten (Article 17(1) GDPR) is not applicable when processing is necessary to exercise the right to freedom of expression and information (Article 17(3)(a)). It explained that balance must be found between the freedom of expression of information and the right to protection of personal data.
The DPA agrees with the data subject that the inclusion of an article in name-based search results may constitute a more serious interference with the right to privacy, since it is more accessible and can play a decisive role in the spread of that information. However, the data subject did not address a search engine, but an online archive. The DPA will therefore only address the applicability of Article 17(1)(c) and it's exception laid down in Article 17(3)(a).
The DPA stated that the freedom of expression and journalistic liberty (Article 10 ECHR) are an important pillar in a democratic society. Online archives specifically are of special importance because of their accessibility to the general public. Only very pressing reasons justify an intervention with these fundamental rights. The mere fact that an article has negative connotation is not sufficient to compromise the integrity of online archives. The DPA further noted that the article has societal relevance (for investors and entrepreneurs) contained no factual inaccuracies. In addition, the data subject could reasonably expect media attention, as he initiated contact with them. Lastly, access to the article was limited to subscribers. The DPA thus found the processing in line with the adequate measures of Article 89 GDPR.
The DPA therefore held that the controller lawfully refused the data subject's request for erasure pursuant to Article 17(3)(a).
Comment[edit | edit source]
A request for mediation is a low-threshold complaint procedure in Belgium.
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 Dutch original. Please refer to the Dutch original for more details.
1/12 Dispute room Decision on the merits 104/2022 of 16 June 2022 File number : DOS-2021-03472 Subject : Complaint resulting from the refusal to take positive action on the exercising a right to erasure with regard to press articles published in the Publisher's online archive are available The Disputes Chamber of the Data Protection Authority, composed of Mr Hielke Hijmans, chairman and Messrs. Jelle Stassijns and Christophe Boeraeve, members. Having regard to Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and 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), hereinafter GDPR; Having regard to the law of 3 December 2017 establishing the Data Protection Authority, hereinafter WOG; Having regard to the internal rules of procedure, as approved by the Chamber of Representatives on December 20, 2018 and published in the Belgian Official Gazette on January 15, 2019; Having regard to the documents in the file; has taken the following decision regarding: The complainant: Mr X, hereinafter referred to as “the complainant”; The defendant: Y, hereinafter referred to as “the defendant”, Judgment on the merits 104/2022 - 2/12 I. Fact-finding procedure 1. On 23 March 2021, the complainant submitted a request for mediation to the Data protection authority against the defendant. The subject of the mediation concerns the refusal to give a positive result to the exercising a right to erasure with regard to press articles published in the online publisher's archives are available. In 2016, the complainant had a sharing system with electrical scooters (Z) established. In 2018, this company was taken over by another company (W). According to the complainant, the newspaper De Tijd had a very negative and critical opinion about this article written. The complainant has forwarded his comments to the editors of the newspaper transferred after which some erroneous data were deleted. However, according to the complainant, maintain the negative tenor of the article. The complainant believed that the negative tenor of the article in conjunction with the project that was discontinued would have an adverse impact on his professional career. After all, according to the complainant, the article appears in the search results when a person would look up information about him. Consequently, the complainant has requested addressed to the defendant to remove his name from the article in question. The complainant argues that the defendant failed to respond to his repeated requests. 2. On September 1, 2021, the request for mediation by the Frontline Service was admissible declared.Thenthefirstlineservicecontactedthedefendant on 1 September 2021 in the context of the conciliation procedure. On September 17, 2021, the Frontline Service receive a response from the defendant. The defendant made communication with the complainant stating that, on the basis of the agreement between the Belgian media groups concluded 'Charter on the right to be forgotten', the complainant has referred to Google to submit a request there with a view to de-indexing the article in the search engine from Google. Finally, the defendant states that it has not had a message since March 29, 2021 received from the complainant, so that it therefore assumed that the complainant would not insisted on a defendant's removal of the article and settled for a de- indexation by Google. 3. On 7 October 2021, the Frontline Service confirms to the complainant that no amicable agreement could be found and informs the complainant that the request for mediation is in agreement can take the form of a complaint which will then be forwarded to the Disputes room for treatment on the merits. Also on October 7, 2021, the complainant gave his permission to the Frontline Service to submit the file as a complaint to the Dispute room. 4. On October 11, 2021, the complaint will be declared admissible by the Frontline Service on the basis of Articles 58 and 60 of the WOG and the complaint pursuant to Article 62, § 1 of the WOG will be forwarded to the Disputes Chamber., Decision on the merits 104/2022 - 3/12 5. On November 16, 2021, the Disputes Chamber will decide on the basis of Article 95, § 1, 1° and Article 98WOG that the file is ready for processing on the merits. 6. On November 16, 2021, the parties concerned will be notified of the provisions by email as stated in article 95, § 2, WOG, as well as from this article 98 WOG. of Article 99 WOG of the time limits to submit their defences. 7. The final date for receipt of the defendant's statement of defense was thereby set laid down on 28 December 2021, this for the complainant's reply on 18 January 2022 and this for the statement of reply of the defendant on 8 February 2022. 8. On November 18, 2021, the complainant electronically accepts all communication regarding the case. 9. On November 19, 2021, the defendant electronically accepts all communications regarding the case. 10. Also on 19 November 2021, the defendant requests a copy of the file (Article 95, §2, 3° WOG), which was sent to him on November 26, 2021. 11. On 24 December 2021, the Disputes Chamber will receive the statement of defense from the defendant. First, the defendant disputes the complainant's position that the article towards the complainant would have a negative tenor. The defendant argues that the article only in one passage refers to the complainant where that passage is also the verbatim representation of a statement of the complainant quoted below: ‘At the start, the founders [complainant] and [co-founder] dreamed of 700 shared scooters Brussels by the end of 2017. That goal turned out to be unattainable. “After a pilot project, we decided to grow at a slower rate”, say the founders can add, but that is logistically impossible. We do not intend to expand very quickly.” The defendant indicates that it cannot detect any negative tenor in this passage. 12. Next, the defendant argues that the article does not contain incorrect information. If this is it If this is the case, quod non according to the defendant, the defendant as a media company according to the code of ethics obliged to loyally rectify this incorrect information (Article 6 of the Journalistic Code). 13. Third, the defendant points out that when looking up the name of the complainant via Google, the article in question does not appear on the first page. 14. Next, the defendant emphasizes that the request for anonymisation, i.e. an exercise of the upright data erasure should not be assigned automatically, but an assessment of this request must always take into account the context of this request these applications always in accordance with the principles laid down in the 'Charter right to' oblivion” endorsed by all media players in Belgium. The publisher, in this case the Defendant weighs up the data subject's right to be forgotten with the right to, Decision on the merits 104/2022 - 4/12 freedom of expression/information and the integrity of press archives. The defendant argues that as a press publisher, it has made this assessment in good conscience and that it concludes that there is there can be no question of the right to be forgotten. The, according to the defendant, vague argumentation of the complainant about a possible negative impact on his further career as a result of the article in question, does not show why his right to be forgotten should take precedence over the role of the press as watchkeeper of democracy in which it reports on socially relevant matters on an objective basis. According to the defendant, its reporting about the acquired company and the link together with the complainant a certain social relevance for potential future investors/business partners of the complainant. 15. Finally, the defendant refers to a recent judgment before the Council for Journalism in which it is also emphasized that the rights and interests of the data subject must be weighed up against the social interest of an archive that is as complete as possible and of the right to information. 16. On 30 December 2021, the Disputes Chamber will receive the statement of reply from the complainant. First of all, the complainant wishes to emphasize that the article does contain a negative tenor. The complainant argues that the defendant has the following negatively charged sentences in its claims: omitted. It concerns the following sentences: “[t]he launch of the new sub-concept went well hesitant” and “[t]he takeover by W must give Z a second breath”. He believes that these sentences can only be interpreted negatively. 17. Second, the complainant emphasizes that the article did contain incorrect information as indicated in the conclusions as follows: a. “The launch of the new sub-concept was hesitant" - The launch went well excellent. The targets in terms of customer numbers and consumption were achieved smoothly. Since the journalist himself states that no figures were released, I (the complainant) nor how he can conclude how the launch went... b. "That goal [to put 700 scooters] turned out to be unachievable" - That goal was logistically not desirable, it was absolutely achievable. c. “The takeover by W must give Z a second breath" - The cooperation must be stabilitio result in an acquisition. There was absolutely no need to find "a second breath". 18. Next, the complainant contests the defendant's contention that the article in question only secondpageofsearchresultsonGoogleappears.The complainant declaresthatthearticletops appears, because of Google's algorithms. 19. As a fourth point, the complainant states that an article in which a negative and incorrect representation is given a business project can have a negative impact on his professional career. The the complainant refers in this regard to the defendant's claims in which it states that it permanently intends, Decision on the merits 104/2022 - 5/12 inform about the link between Z and the complainant and the social relevance, including for potential future investors and business partners. 20. Finally, the complainant considers that the judgment of the Council cited by the defendant for Journalism in this case is irrelevant. After all, according to the complainant, the Council for Journalism be a self-regulating body that only formulates an opinion with its statements. The complainant argues also that there are plenty of other articles written about his company without a negative tenor rendered the article in question unnecessary to inform the public. 21. On 7 February 2022, the Disputes Chamber received the statement of reply from the defendant. In its reply, the defendant refers to Article 17 of the GDPR whereby it argues that the present case falls under the exceptions of article 17, third paragraph AVG and so outside falls within the jurisdiction of the Disputes Chamber. The defendant then outlines a history of the complainant's company. The two sentences quoted by the complainant are, according to the defendant not negative, but merely descriptive. As the third point, the defendant emphasizes that it article does not contain any errors. The defendant then refers to editorial freedom in which the journalist himself chooses the wording with which the story is presented. The journalist is supported in this by the editor-in-chief so that these can formulate matters in a certain way, even if the interviewee, in this case the complainant, does not agree. It The fact that the complainant is not satisfied with the reporting in the newspaper is not, according to the defendant, sufficient to invoke the right to be forgotten. The defendant then points out that the complainant has relinquished some of its privacy by seeking the media's attention in the in the context of the publicity of his company. It cannot be the intention that the media archives and reporting have to adjust every time someone who is themselves anonymity has given up, no longer want to because the initiative was not successful, according to the defendant. Finally, the defendant refers again to the Council for Journalism. The Journalistic Code contains various provisions regarding the right to the protection of personal data. This one Code was drawn up by the Journalism Council and recognized and accepted by all journalists. The rulings of the Council of Journalism are not only published via the website of the Council of the Journalistically distributed, but also by the media to which the ruling relates announced. This body is widely recognized by the entire media sector and its journalists respected and regarded as authoritative. II. Justification II.1. Jurisdiction of the Dispute Chamber 22. The Disputes Chamber understands from the complaint that the complainant invokes Article 17.1.c) GDPR, and more determined on his right to digital oblivion. In view of the content of the complaint, it falls to the Litigation Chamber to Assess Whether the Defendant Rightly Refused to Respond to the Substance Decision 104/2022 - 6/12 request for anonymization of the bearing. For this refusal, the defendant invoked Article 17.3.a) GDPR. In line with its previous decision-making practice, the Disputes Chamber reminds that the competence of the GBA in general, and of the Disputes Chamber in particular, "is limited to the supervision of compliance with the data processing applicable regulations, regardless of the sector of activity in which this data processing takes place", and that it is not its task to take the place of the other authorities in the exercise of their authorizations. 23. It is therefore up to the Disputes Chamber to assess whether the defendant complies with the GDPR violated by refusing to comply with the request for anonymization in accordance with Article 17.1.c) GDPR of the complainant. This assessment also concerns whether or not Article 17.3.a) of the GDPR can be invoked, on the basis of which the controller must make a balancing of interests in order to conclude whether processing is necessary or not for the purposes of freedom of expression and information. II.2. Validity of the request for anonymization 24. The complaint concerns the function of media archives in the electronic environment of the Internet and its compatibility with the right to erasure in accordance with Article 17.1.c) and the refusal to grant this right in accordance with Article 17.3.a) GDPR. 25. The Disputes Chamber refers in that regard to Article 17.1.c) of the GDPR, which provides that the data subject has the right to request from the controller without undue delay erasure of the personal data concerning him. Based on the same article, the controller is obliged to provide the data without undue delay to be deleted, inter alia, if the data subject objects in accordance with Article 21.1 GDPR against the processing, and there are no overriding compelling legitimate grounds for the processing. As explained above, the complainant has made a request in accordance with article 17.1.c) addressed to the defendant. 26. Article 17.3.a) GDPR states, however, that Article 17.1 GDPR does not apply where such processing is necessary for the exercise of the right to freedom of expression and information. This article provides for an exception regulation that involves a balancing of interests between provides for two fundamental rights, namely the balance between the right to freedom of expression and information on the one hand and the right to protection of personal data on the other. It's on this ground that the defendant has refused to comply with the request for data erasure of the complainant. 1 See, for example, decisions 03/2020,41/2020, and 139/2021 of the Disputes Chamber, available on the website of the GBA, Decision on the merits 104/2022 - 7/12 27. In the context of the present file, the Disputes Chamber will thus examine whether the request for data erasure in accordance with 17.1.c) GDPR was rightly refused by the defendant in accordance with Article 17.3.a) GDPR, in particular the trade-off between freedom of expression information and the right to protection of personal data. 28. The Disputes Chamber points out that in the present case the complaint was lodged against the defendant as a press publisher. The European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter: “ECtHR”) emphasized in the case M.L. and W.W. t. Germany that a publisher has as its main goal the publishing original information. This finality is not the same as that of search engines. After all, the aim of search engines is to enable internet users to find this information, and even have a reinforcing effect on finding information about a person concerned. What the consequences of the data processing for the personal privacy, the CJEU has ruled that the inclusion of a web page in the name based search results "a more serious violation of the fundamental right to personal privacy of the data subject than the publication on the web page", since the inclusion of information in search results "significantly affects access to that information" facilitated for any Internet user who conducts a search for the data subject and can play a decisive role in the dissemination of that information". 29. In its Guidelines 5/2019 on the criteria for the right to be forgotten under the GDPR in the case of search engines, the European Data Protection Board (European Data Protection Board -EDPB) in the same sentence the following: "7.A number of things need to be considered when applying Article 17 GDPR relating to the data processing of a search engine operator. It's in this connection necessary to state that a distinction must be made between the processing of personal data carried out in the context of the activities of the operator of the search engine, and the processing performed by the publishers of the third party websites such as media outlets providing online content for newspapers.[...] 9. Requests for deletion do not result in the completeness of the personal data After all, the data is neither deleted from the original website, nor from the index and cache of the search engine operator. For example, a the data subject can strive for the deletion of personal data from the index of a search engine originating from a media outlet such as a newspaper article. In that case, the links to the personal data are removed from the search engine index; the 2EHRM June 28, 2018, 60798/10 and 65599/10, M.L. and W.W. t. Germany. 3CJEU, 13 May 2014, C-131/12 , Google Spain, §87. 4 European Data Protection Board (EDPB), Guidelines 5/2019 on the criteria for the right to be forgotten on under the GDPR in the context of search engines of 7 July 2020 https://edpb.europa.eu/sites/default/files/files/file1/edpb_guidelines_201905_rtbfsearchengines_afterpublicconsultation_fr.pdf, Decision on the merits 104/2022 - 8/12 however, the article in question remains under the control of the media outlet and may be publicly available remain available and accessible, even if it is no longer visible in the search results that are based on searches that in principle contain the name of the data subject". underline) 30. This distinction between search engines and publishers can therefore have important consequences for the balancing of interests between freedom of expression and the right to protection of personal data. The Disputes Chamber finds that the defendant has proposed to the complainant to address a request for de-indexation to the search engines. Since no de- indexation was requested by the complainant, the Disputes Chamber will rule in the present case therefore, only as to whether the defendant's request for erasure was lawful in accordance with Article 17.3.a) GDPR. 31. First of all, the Dispute Chamber reminds that freedom of expression becomes information protected in Article 10, paragraph 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter: “ECHR”). This right includes the freedom to hold opinions and the freedom to obtain information or receive or impart ideas without interference from any public authority. It ECtHR sees freedom of expression as an essential building block for a democratic 5 society, in which the press plays the essential role of public watchdog. The way in which the 6 The press works in this regard is in principle free, the so-called journalistic freedom. The ECtHR takes as a starting point that journalistic freedom, as protected in Article 10, paragraph 1 of the ECHR, extends beyond the protection of an objective and modest manner of reporting of facts.7 32. In this context, the Disputes Chamber further refers to the importance of the processing of personal data for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research or statistical purposes, as recognized in Recital 153 and Article 89 AVG. 8 The ECtHR has already confirmed that setting up and keeping online archives is part of forms part of the right to freedom of expression and information as understood in Article 10 ECHR. The ECtHR emphasizes the importance of digital archives as the right to information of the public is not limited to current events, and furthermore the information contained in this digital 9 archives is quickly accessible and often free. Considering the importance of digital archives, it has ECHR noted that "it is not for the judicial authorities to rewrite history 5EHRM May 10, 2011, 48009/08, Mosley t. UK, § 112. 6EHRM May 10, 2011, 48009/08, Mosley t. UK, § 113. 7 ECtHR, 19 June 2003, 49017/99, Pedersen and Baadsgaard, §71. 8 See also Decision 139/2021 (https://www.dataprotectionauthority.be/publications/besluit-ten-gronde-nr.-139- 2021.pdf) 9 See also in this regard the above-mentioned judgment of the CJEU, 13 May 2014, C-131/12 , Google Spain; See, among others, ECtHR 27 November 2007, 42865/05, Timpul Info-Magazinet Anghel v. Moldova and ECtHR, 10 March 2009, 18897/91, Times Newspaper Limited v. United Kingdom; ECtHR 28 June 2018, 60798/10 and 65599/10, M.L. andW.W. t. Germany, §90., Judgment on the merits 104/2022 - 9/12 by ordering that all traces of publications of which in the past have been brought before final judicial verdict has been found to be an unjustified damage to individual reputation forms, be removed from the public domain" 10. It follows a fortiori that only very compelling reasons may justify direct interference in archived media content. After all, retroactive adaptation of these digital press archives interferes with both the right to expression and information as with the journalistic freedom mentioned above. It The ECtHR therefore states that balancing all the interests at stake entails the risk entails that the press refrain from keeping reports in its online archives or that it omits individualized elements in reports that are likely to be the subject of a 11 make such a request”. Consequently, care must be taken with review under Article 10 ECHR when measures or sanctions imposed on the press the participation of the press in debates on matters of legitimate public interest discourage. 12 33. As previously stated in Decision 139/2021, the Disputes Chamber takes into account the specific nature of the archives, as well as with the safeguards for the data subject in the balancing of interests in application of Article 17.3 a) of the GDPR. 34. As explained above, archives can only be used for very compelling reasons (retroactively) adjusted. The Disputes Chamber is of the opinion that in the present case there is no there is such a very urgent reason, and is based on criteria that the ECtHR in the judgment 14 Axel Springer t. Germany has elaborated and then in its further case law as a basis used in the balancing of interests between the right to expressions of opinion information and the right 15 on the protection of personal data. The Disputes Chamber believes that there is no doubt about the relevance of the article in the social debate, both for investors in similar projects as well as for any future business partners of the complainant. The Disputes Chamber believes that the complainant could reasonably have expected that the evolution of his project would be monitored after the complainant appealed to the press to announce the launch of the project, as well as later on when the project was taken over. According to the Disputes Chamber, there is also no doubt as to the veracity of the contested article. As explained above, the defendant corrected factual inaccuracies after publication of the article. The complainant alleges 10EHRM July 16, 2013, 33846/07, Węgrzynowski and Smolczewski, §65. 11 ECtHR June 28, 2018, 60798/10 and 65599/10, M.L. and W.W. t. Germany, §104. 12 ECtHR June 28, 2018, 60798/10 and 65599/10, M.L. and W.W. t. Germany, §104. 13 Decision 139/2021, §59 (https://www.dataprotectionauthority.be/publications/besluit-ten-gronde-nr.-139-2021.pdf) 14EHRM February 7, 2012, 39954/08, Axel Springer t. Germany, §§ 89-95. 15 namely: contribution to the social debate; reputation of the applicant; the applicant's prior conduct towards the media; manner in which the information was obtained and its veracity, content, form and consequences of the publication, and the impact of the imposed measure on the publisher. The ECtHR states in this regard that the above criteria apply both at the time of publication and at the time of archival review, recognizing, however, that the relevance of this criteria may change in specific circumstances or over time, Decision on the merits 104/2022 - 10/12 that the article is still incorrect because the wording used has a negative tenor contain. As already set out, the journalist's choice of wording is part of the journalistic freedom. It cannot be the intention that every article that can be regarded as critical should be removed or modified. In addition, the article is only accessible for subscribers of the press publisher, which means that the article is not freely available for everyone to consult. The The Litigation Chamber argues that introducing such accessibility measures of archives (and recent publications) is part of the provision of appropriate safeguards in the meaning of Article 89 of the GDPR by the defendants. The Disputes Chamber also notes that when entering the name of the complainant in a search engine, this article at issue is not necessarily definition appears on the first or second page. If this were the case for the complainant, in view of the algorithms of search engines, according to the Disputes Chamber there are other measures that can meet the complainant's wishes, without affecting the integrity of the online archives must be compromised. 35. In short, the data subject's desire to erase his past through the deletion or modification of an archived article because he believes it would contain a negative tenor is not sufficient to affect the integrity of the online archives. 36. Finally, the Disputes Chamber notes that it has taken cognizance of the Hurbain judgment of the ECtHR in which the ECtHR ruled that an anonymization obligation imposed on a press publisher was found to be in accordance with Article 10 ECHR. The Dispute Room considers, however, that in the present case there are insufficient arguments to reach the same to make a decision as there are decisive factual differences between the two Affairs. For example, the Hurbain case concerned a fatal car accident in 1994 in which the complainant was involved was, as a result of which the publication resulted in a virtual criminal record, which could have a negative have for the complainant's professional activities as a doctor. The present case concerns the article de takeover of a business project, which does not contain data of a criminal nature. In addition, the article in the Hurbain case was published in 1994 and re-published after 20 years brought to the fore in the context of road safety statistics, making it article had no news value whatsoever according to the ECtHR. In the present case, it concerns a article published four years ago that may be newsworthy for future potential investors in collaboration with the complainant or in similar projects. The article in question was also available online to everyone in the Hurbain case, so not only for subscribers, as is the case in the present case. In the Hurbain case, the concerned made the necessary efforts to stay away from the media attention both during and after the moment of publication. As already stated above, this is not the case in the present case. 16 ECtHR June 22, 2021, 57292/16, Hurbain v. Belgium. The Disputes Chamber also points out that this case was settled on June 22, 2021 referred for consideration by the Grand Chamber. 17EHRM, 22 June 2021, 57292/16,Hurbain v. Belgium, §112., Judgment on the merits 104/2022 - 11/12 The complainant appealed to the media for the publicity at the launch and also at the takeover. 37. In short, in view of the analysis of the above criteria, the Disputes Chamber rules that the the defendant has rightly refused the request for erasure in accordance with Article 17.3.a) GDPR. 38. In the light of the foregoing and on the basis of all the elements in the file of which it is aware and of the powers conferred on it by the legislature under Article 100, paragraph 1WOG, the Dispute Chamber consequently decided, for the reason set out above, the to dismiss the complaint, in accordance with Article 100, paragraph 1, 1° WOG. 39. In the event of a dismissal, the Disputes Chamber must substantiate its decision step by step and: - pronounce a technical dismissal if the file contains no or insufficient elements that belong to could lead to a sanction or contain insufficient elements that could lead to a sanction; - or declare a policy dismissal if, despite the presence of elements that lead to a sanction, further investigation of the file does not deem it opportune in the light of her priorities. 40. If there are several grounds for the dismissal (technical or policy dismissal, respectively), the rejected grounds should be treated in order of importance. 41. In the present case, the Disputes Chamber decides to close the case without further action, as the defendant rightly refused the erasure request in accordance with Article 17.3.a) GDPR and thus no infringement of the GDPR can be identified. 18 III.Publication of the decision 42. Given the importance of transparency in the decision-making of the Litigation Chamber, this decision will be published on the website of the Data Protection Authority. It is not necessary, however, that the identification data of the parties shall be published directly. 18 In this regard, see criterion A.2 in connection with technical dismissal in the memorandum "Dismissal Policy of the Disputes Chamber, published on June 18, 2021 (available at: https://www.dataprotectionauthority.be/publications/sepotbeleid-van-de- dispute chamber.pdf), decision on the merits 104/2022 - 12/12 FOR THESE REASONS, the Disputes Chamber of the Data Protection Authority decides, after deliberation, to Article 100, paragraph 1, 1° WOG to dismiss this complaint on technical grounds. Under Article 108, § 1 WOG, an appeal may be lodged against this decision within a period of thirty days, from the notification, to the Marktenhof, with the Data Protection Authority as Defendant. (Get). Hielke Hijmans Chairman of the Disputes Chamber