APD/GBA (Belgium) - 104/2022

From GDPRhub
APD/GBA - 104/2022
Authority: APD/GBA (Belgium)
Jurisdiction: Belgium
Relevant Law: Article 17(1)(c) GDPR
Article 17(3)(a) GDPR
Article 89 GDPR
Type: Complaint
Outcome: Rejected
Started: 23.03.2021
Decided: 16.06.2022
Published: 16.06.2022
Fine: n/a
Parties: De Tijd
National Case Number/Name: 104/2022
European Case Law Identifier: n/a
Appeal: Unknown
Original Language(s): Dutch
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


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.


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).


A request for mediation is a low-threshold complaint procedure in Belgium.

Further Resources

Share blogs or news articles here!

English Machine Translation of the Decision

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


                                                                               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


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


   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.

 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.
 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".


   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
       society, in which the press plays the essential role of public watchdog. The way in which the
       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
       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.
 ECtHR, 19 June 2003, 49017/99, Pedersen and Baadsgaard, §71.
 See also Decision 139/2021 (https://www.dataprotectionauthority.be/publications/besluit-ten-gronde-nr.-139-
 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
       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
       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
       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.
 ECtHR June 28, 2018, 60798/10 and 65599/10, M.L. and W.W. t. Germany, §104.
  ECtHR June 28, 2018, 60798/10 and 65599/10, M.L. and W.W. t. Germany, §104.
  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.

  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

   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.

  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


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