APDCAT (Catalonia) - IAI 68/2021 - IAI 71/2021

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APDCAT (Catalonia) - IAI 68/2021 - IAI 71/2021
Apdcat-logo.png
Authority: APDCAT (Catalonia)
Jurisdiction: Spain
Relevant Law: Article 9 GDPR
Article 10 GDPR
Article 86 GDPR
Article 2(3) Spanish law regulating rights of access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters
Article 83 Spanish law on environmental prevention and control of activities
Article 27 Spanish Data Protection Act
Type: Advisory Opinion
Outcome: n/a
Started:
Decided: 04.11.2021
Published:
Fine: None
Parties: n/a
National Case Number/Name: IAI 68/2021 - IAI 71/2021
European Case Law Identifier: n/a
Appeal: n/a
Original Language(s): Catalan
Original Source: APDCAT (in CA)
Initial Contributor: Cesar Manso-Sayao

The Catalan DPA issued an opinion stating that access to document requests of administrative proceedings for environmental infringements should not include the personal data of individual polluters, except in cases of “very serious” infringements.

English Summary[edit | edit source]

Facts[edit | edit source]

A journalist made an access to document request regarding proceedings dating back to 1975 sanctioning water pollution emanating from a petrochemical industrial zone in Tarragona. The journalist did not receive the information requested in due time, and filed a complaint with the Commission for the Guarantee of the Right of Access to Public Information (GAIP).

The public entity in charge of granting the information answered this request, stating that compiling this information involved more work than they had foreseen. This included not only retrieving the vast amount of cases which existed within the time-frame given by the claimant, but also digitising files and obscuring any personal data contained in them.

In order to address this claim, the GAIP asked the Catalan DPA (APDCAT) to issue a report regarding what personal data could be included within the information requested by the journalist on these matters.

Holding[edit | edit source]

On data protection rights weighed against access of information and public interest[edit | edit source]

The APDCAT cited that these requests were subject to specific regulation by the “Spanish law regulating rights of access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters (Ley 27/2006, de 18 de julio, por la que se regulan los derechos de acceso a la información, de participación pública y de acceso a la justicia en materia de medio ambiente - LAIA)" and its definition of “environmental information”. According to this law, the information requested is relevant to the public interest and should be accessible to any person requesting it. The APDCAT states, however, that this right of access to environmental information is not absolute and is subject to exceptions, which include GDPR. Hence data protection rights must be weighed against access of information rights as well as public interest considerations.

On the processing of data related to legal persons within administrative procedures[edit | edit source]

One on hand, the APDCAT stated that under Article 2 GDPR, Article 4(1) GDPR and Recital 14 GDPR, any information regarding administrative procedures for water pollution infringements carried out by legal persons cannot be considered personal data, and is therefore not within the scope of the GDPR, and can be publicly divulged and included within the information requested by the journalist.

On the processing of personal data within administrative procedures[edit | edit source]

On the other hand, citing those same GDPR provisions, the APDCAT established that when the infringement was carried out by a natural person (which for these purposes would have to be a company comprised of an individual entrepreneur) any information related to this person in these administrative procedure files must be considered personal data within the scope of GDPR, and must be excluded from the information requested.

The APDCAT additionally stated that this personal data must also be considered sensitive data, because the protections related to special categories of personal data established by Article 9 GDPR and Article 10 GDPR are extended to administrative procedures as well criminal offenses according to the Article 27 of the "Spanish Data Protection Act (Ley orgánica 3/2018, de 5 de diciembre, de protección de datos personales y garantía de los derechos digitales –LOPDGDD)"

On the exception to the prohibition of processing personal data when infringements are "very serious"[edit | edit source]

However, the APDCAT also noted that according to Article 86 GDPR, when it comes to information contained in official documents held by a public body which are requested in the public interest, an exception to the general prohibition to disclose this data can be established by domestic law. The APDCAT cited specific environmental legislation as a legal basis for an exception for the disclosure of personal data in this case. Specifically, Article 83 of the "Spanish law on environmental prevential and control of activities (Ley 20/2009 del 4 de diciembre, de prevención y control ambiental de las actividades)" which states that when the environmental infringements which take place are classified as “very serious” according to Article 80 of that same law, one of the possible sanctions is the publication of the names of natural and legal persons which are held responsible. Hence, in this case, when the violations can be classified as “very serious”, the personal data of those responsible can be included in the requested documents, and can also be subsequently divulged to the public by the journalist.

On the processing of personal data related to third parties within administrative procedures[edit | edit source]

Finally, APDCAT also noted that the data requested in this case was not just general information about the proceedings, but also the complete proceeding files themselves, which normally include personal data related to third parties intervening in different capacities within the procedures as well (such as public officials carrying out legal duties in the processing of these cases, the official representatives of legal persons involved in the procedures, as well as complainants and witnesses). The APDCAT pondered the public interest objectives in granting this data versus personal data protection considerations for each specific case.

On the one hand, the APDCAT determined that when it comes to public officials, due to the fact that they have a duty to identify themselves within the procedure when carrying out their public duties, there was no reason to exclude any data which identified them personally in these files. On the other hand, the personal data related to representatives of legal persons involved in these cases, as well as complainants and witnesses, should be anonimised within the information granted in this type of request.

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

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

                                                                               IAI 68/2021





Report issued at the request of the Commission for the Guarantee of the Right of Access to Information
Public in relation to the claim against an environmental administration body
for denying access to records of water pollution

of the chemical industries of the petrochemical estates of the Camp de Tarragona since
in 1975 and until today.


The Commission for the Guarantee of the Right of Access to Public Information (GAIP) requests the Authority
Catalan Data Protection Agency (APDCAT) which issues a report on the claim

filed against an environmental administration body for denying access to
records of water pollution (sea, rivers, lakes, groundwater, etc.) by
of the chemical industries of the petrochemical estates of the Camp de Tarragona since the year
1975 and to the present day

Analyzed the application, which is accompanied by a copy of the administrative file processed
before the GAIP, according to the report of the Legal Advice I report the following:


Background

1. On July 4, 2021, one was filed in the register of the Generalitat de Catalunya
application of a citizen, in his capacity as a journalist and neighbor of the city of Tarragona, for the
which asks the body to consult the records of water pollution
(maritime, rivers, lakes, underground, etc.) by the chemical industries of the estates

Camp de Tarragona petrochemicals from 1975 to the present.

2. On September 7, 2021 the applicant of the information submits a claim to the
Commission for the Guarantee of the Right of Access to Public Information (GAIP), for the denial of
access to the files, in which he states that “(...) he requested an extension to deliver the
documentation and that this has been widely complied with and the documentation has not arrived ”:


3. On September 10, 2021, the GAIP requested the agency to issue a report on
the claim filed, identify the third parties affected by the access forward
the complete file to which it refers and indicate the person or persons who will represent it in the
mediation session.

4. On October 4, 2021, the agency shall issue a report regarding the application for access to the

which states that at first it was decided to limit the information with respect to which
facilitate access, consisting of disciplinary proceedings and, of these “only those who
in fact, they would have ended up being definitively resolved with an effective sanction ”, and that
subsequently, due to the volume of information requested, an extension of the deadline was agreed
to resolve the case. However, it is clear that he is aware of the delay in resolving
the access file, which justifies the complexity of the tasks to be performed by




                                                                                              1respond to the request which should cover all the sanctioning files. In first place
due to the complexity of the work required to obtain the requested information as well as the
tasks that should be performed, a posteriori, to ensure access to the requested documentation.
With regard to these tasks, he emphasized that once the files were in format

each of them must undergo an analysis process to detect the presence of data
personal or otherwise subject to protection by law, and then apply to it
concealment techniques to prevent access to such data by third parties. "

5. On October 18, 2021, the GAIP addressed the request for a report to this Authority
in accordance with the provisions of article 42.8 of Law 19/2014, of 29 December, of

transparency, access to public information and good governance.


Legal Basics


                                                 I


In accordance with article 1 of Law 32/2010, of 1 October, of the Catalan Authority of
Data Protection, the APDCAT is the independent body whose purpose is to guarantee, in
the area of competence of the Generalitat, the rights to the protection of personal data and
access to the information linked to it.


Article 42.8 of Law 19/2014, of 29 December, on transparency, access to information
public and good governance, which regulates the claim against the resolutions regarding access to the
public information, states whether the denial was based on data protection
The Commission shall issue a report to the Catalan Data Protection Authority, the
which must be issued within fifteen days.

Therefore, this report is issued exclusively for the purpose of assessing the incidence of

the requested access may be with respect to the personal information of the persons concerned, understood
as any information about an identified or identifiable natural person, directly or
indirectly, in particular by means of an identifier, such as a name, a number
identification, location data, an online identifier, or one or more of its own
the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that person
(art. 4.1 of Regulation 2016/679, of 27 April 2016, relating to the protection of persons
with regard to the processing of personal data and the free movement of such data and the

repealing Directive 95/46 / EC (General Data Protection Regulation)
RGPD).

Therefore, any other limitation or aspect that does not affect is excluded from the scope of this report
the personal data contained in the requested information.

The deadline for issuing this report may be extended

to resolve the claim, if so agreed by the GAIP and notified to all parties before
end the deadline to resolve.





                                                                                                 2Therefore, this report is issued on the basis of the aforementioned provisions of the Act
32/2010, of 1 October, of the Catalan Data Protection Authority and Law 19/2014, of 29
December, transparency, access to public information and good governance.


In accordance with Article 17.2 of Law 32/2010, this report will be published on the website of the Authority one
once notified to the persons concerned, with the prior anonymisation of personal data.


                                                II


The plaintiff requests access to the “files containing water pollution by
the chemical industries of the Camp de Tarragona petrochemical estates since 1975
to date. "

Although it is not known exactly what the claimant is referring to when requesting the
files in the possession of the body where the water pollution is recorded can be foreseen that

the body may have information about water pollution as a result of
different types of actions within their competences, such as files
discharge permit, regular monitoring of activities, water quality monitoring,
disciplinary proceedings, etc.

From the perspective of data protection regulations, it is necessary to start from the premise that the RGPD,
in accordance with its Articles 2 and 4.1 is applicable to the treatments carried out

about personal data understood as any information “about a natural person
identified or identifiable (“the interested party”); all natural persons will be considered identifiable
person whose identity can be determined, directly or indirectly, in particular by a
identifier, such as a name, an identification number, location data,
an online identifier or one or more elements of the physical, physiological,
genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social status of that person. ”(Article 4.1 RGPD).


It should be noted that the data of the RGPD are excluded from the scope of protection of the RGPD
legal persons, as specified by the same RGPD, in establishing that “Protection
granted by this Regulation should apply to natural persons,
regardless of their nationality or place of residence, in relation to the
processing of your personal data. This Regulation does not regulate the processing of data
personal data relating to legal persons and in particular to companies incorporated as

legal persons, including the name and form of the legal person and their contact details. "
(Recital 14)

Thus, the regulations for the protection of personal data will be relevant to the information referred to
to companies that are natural persons (sole proprietors) who own the industries
chemicals of the Camp de Tarragona petrochemical estates that are natural persons that
have been the subject of action by the environmental administration as a result of the

water pollution.

Instead, the claimed information regarding companies that are legal entities remains
excluded from the scope of protection of personal data protection regulations. Therefore, from




                                                                                                From the point of view of personal data protection regulations, there would be no problem in
to be able to access it.

However, in his request the applicant expressly states that he wishes to access the proceedings

carried out as a result of water pollution. So it seems that the
The aim is for him to be provided with the complete files relating to these actions. Is
it can be predicted that these files may contain not only personal data
responsible for the facts but also for natural persons acting on behalf of the
legal persons. Likewise, the files may also include data from third parties
people, such as the public employees in charge of processing the files
(inspectors, instructors, competent public officials, etc.), as well as third parties

could intervene as whistleblowers, witnesses, etc. In the case of natural persons, the
processing of this personal information would be protected by the protection of
data.

According to the definition of treatment in article 4.2 of the RGPD “consultation, use,
communication by transmission, dissemination or any other form of enabling access, collision or

interconnection, limitation, deletion or destruction ”of personal data, are data processing
subject to the principles and guarantees of the RGPD. Therefore, access by the applicant
in the completed files claimed would involve a processing of personal data in the
terms of the RGPD.

The RGPD stipulates that all processing of personal data must be lawful, fair and transparent
relation to the interested party (Article 5.1.a)) and, in this sense, establishes a system of legitimation of the

data processing that is based on the need for one of the bases to concur
established in its article 6.1. Specifically, sections c) and e) of article 6.1 of the RGPD
provide, respectively, that the treatment will be lawful if “it is necessary for compliance with
a legal obligation applicable to the controller ”, or if it is necessary for the controller
fulfillment of a mission carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of public authority
conferred on the controller ”.


As can be seen from article 6.3 of the RGPD and expressly included in article 8 of the Organic Law
3/2018, of 5 December, on the protection of personal data and the guarantee of digital rights
(LOPDGDD), data processing may only be considered grounded
Article 6.1.c) and 6.1.e) of the RGPD when so established by a rule with the rank of
law.


At the same time, Article 86 of the RGPD provides that “the personal data of official documents in
possession of any public authority or public body or private entity for the
carrying out a mission in the public interest may be communicated by that authority,
body or body in accordance with Union or Member State law
to be applied to them in order to reconcile public access to official documents with the law
protection of personal data under this Regulation. "


It follows from the complainant's access to personal data that may contain the claimant
information requested on the basis of the fulfillment of a legal obligation by the body
(responsible for processing (art.6.1.c) RGPD), must necessarily comply with a standard
with the rank of law.



                                                                                               4In accordance with article 18 of Law 19/2014, of 29 December, on transparency, access to
public information and good governance (hereinafter, LTC) “people have the right to access
public information, referred to in Article 2.b, individually or in the name and on behalf of

any legally constituted legal person ”(section 1).

For the purposes of Article 2.b) of the LTC), the information prepared by
the Administration and that which it has in its possession as a result of its activity or
the exercise of its functions, including that provided by the other obligated subjects
in accordance with the provisions of this law. "


It should be noted, however, that the second section of the first additional provision of the LTC
provides that “access to public information in matters that have a regime in place
special access is regulated by their specific regulations and, in addition, by them
law.

The environment is a subject with a special access regime, regulated mainly by the

Law 27/2006, of 18 July, which regulates the rights of access to information, of
public participation and access to justice in environmental matters (hereinafter, LAIA).

The application of this specific regulation to the case at hand basically depends on whether the
required information should be considered included in the concept of environmental information, at
effects of LAIA.


Article 2.3 of the LAIA defines “environmental information” in the following terms:

  “3. Environmental information: all information in written, visual, audio, electronic or
  any other form to be seen on the following issues:

  a) The state of the elements of the environment, such as air and atmosphere, water, the

  soil, land, landscapes and natural spaces, including wetlands and areas
  marine and coastal areas, biological diversity and its components, including organisms
  genetically modified; and the interaction between these elements.
  b) Factors, such as substances, energy, noise, radiation or waste, including
  radioactive waste, emissions, discharges and other releases into the environment, which
  affect or may affect the elements of the environment referred to in point (a).

  (c) Measures, including administrative measures, such as policies, rules, plans,
  programs, environmental agreements and activities that affect or may
  affect the elements and factors referred to in points (a) and (b), as well as the activities or activities
  measures to protect these elements.
  d) Reports on the implementation of environmental legislation.
  e) Cost-benefit analyzes and other analyzes and character assumptions
  used in making decisions regarding the measures and activities mentioned

  in letter c), and
  f) The state of health and safety of persons, including, where appropriate, pollution
  of the food chain, human living conditions, historical heritage assets,
  cultural and artistic and constructions, when they are seen or can be affected by the state




                                                                                                 5 of the environmental elements referred to in point (a) or, through those elements,
  at either end referred to in points (b) and (c). "
It is inferred from the literal wording of the precept that the legislature intended to give the concept of information
environmental sense, which, in accordance with the jurisprudence of the ECJ (for all, the

STJCE of 17 June 1998, Case 321/96, Mecklenburg), would cover any information
relating to the state of the various elements of the environment mentioned therein (a
l’article 2.a) of the Directive), as well as activities or measures that may affect or protect
the status of such elements, including administrative measures and programs
environmental management. (...) serving the term "measures" just to make it clear
the acts covered by the Directive must include all forms of exercise of

administrative activity ”.

In view of this broad interpretation of the European Court of Justice, it seems that the
information on the files processed by the body in relation to the contamination of
the water for the chemical industries of the petrochemical estates of the Camp de Tarragona, could
be considered environmental information to which the special access regime is applied
regulates the LAIA, without prejudice to the fact that, in what is not provided for by this law,

the LTC, in accordance with its First Additional Provision.


                                                III

Article 3 of the LAIA states that everyone has access to environmental information held by the LAIA

public authorities or in the name of other subjects on their behalf, without being for that purpose
required to declare a particular interest.

The right of access to environmental information is not an absolute right of the applicant,
but, as established in Article 13 of the LAIA, it is subject to a regime of exceptions which
the public authority may invoke to deny the request. Specifically, in terms of data
2.f) provides that applications may be refused if the disclosure of the

requested information may adversely affect “the confidentiality of the data
personal data, as regulated in Organic Law 15/1999, of December 13, of
Protection of Personal Data, as long as the person concerned to whom
do not consent to its treatment or disclosure. ”(Article 13.2.f). This referral
the personal data protection regulations must be understood today as referring to the RGPD and the Law
Organic Law 3/2018, of 5 December, on the protection of personal data and guarantee of rights
(LOPDGDD) and the RGPD.


However, LAIA itself expressly requires that the reasons for denying access to the LAIA
environmental information is interpreted restrictively and, in each specific case, one
balance between the public interest that would be taken care of with the disclosure of the information and the interest that
would be treated with the denial of access to that information (Article 13.4).


As stated in the report issued by the agency, the information claimed includes
sanctioning files processed in the petrochemical companies of the Tarragona countryside. Now
well, the body may have information about discharges into the water as a result of another
type of files, such as discharges,
periodic controls of the activities, controls of quality of the waters, etc. Precisely the LAIA



                                                                                                It expressly identifies as "environmental information" emissions, discharges and other releases
in the environment, which affect or may affect the elements of the environment
cited in the letter a ”and one of its pillars is to allow citizens to access the
environmental information. In this sense, Article 13.5 of the LAIA provides that the authorities are not

may be covered by the reasons set out in points (a), (d), (f), (g) and (h) of Article 13.2, for refusing
a request for information on emissions into the environment (Article 13.5 LAIA).

On the other hand, information on emissions and permits is part of the information
that Article 7 of the LAIA expressly provides that it shall be published when
states that:


  The information disseminated will be updated, as appropriate, and will include at least the
  following extremes:
  (...)

  4. The reports on the state of the environment referred to in Article 8.


  5. The data or summaries of the data derived from the monitoring of the activities that
  affect or may affect the environment.

  6. Authorizations with a significant effect on the environment and agreements on
  environmental matter. Failing that, the reference to the place where you can apply or
  find the information in accordance with Article 5.


  7. Environmental impact studies and risk assessments relating to
  elements of the environment referred to in Article 2.3.a). Failing that, one
  reference to the place where the information can be requested or found in accordance with it
  provided for in Article 5 ”.

Therefore, there should be no inconvenience from the perspective of data protection regulations

by providing the claimant with the information that the body has available regarding the authorizations
of spills with a significant effect on the environment, as well as information on
data derived from the monitoring of activities that may affect the environment, etc.


                                                IV


Different information is the information regarding the sanctioning files and the files
available to the body, access to which is discussed below.

From the perspective of data protection regulations, access to environmental information
should be restricted when it affects data that is considered particularly sensitive, in terms of
Article 9 of the RGPD (data revealing ethnic or racial origin, political opinions,

religious or philosophical beliefs or trade union affiliation, genetic data, biometric data
intended to uniquely identify a natural person, health data or
data relating to the sexual life or sexual orientation of a natural person), or other data
which, despite not being included in this category, have Spanish legislation with




                                                                                                 7a reinforced system of protection as would be, depending on the case at hand, the data relating to
administrative or criminal offenses and sanctions.

As to the elements to be considered in the weighting of the public interest in access to the

environmental information and the protection of personal data regarding people
responsible in the sanctioning proceedings instructed by the body, must be taken into account
that information relating to administrative or criminal offenses and sanctions is subject to a
reinforced protection system.

This special protection derives from Article 27 of the LOPDGDD which provides:


  “1. For the purposes of Article 86 of Regulation (EU) 2016/679, data processing
  relating to administrative infringements and sanctions, including record keeping
  related to them, will require:

  a) That those responsible for such treatment are the competent bodies for the
  instruction of the sanctioning procedure, for the declaration of the infractions or the

  imposition of sanctions.
  b) That the treatment be limited to the data strictly necessary for the purpose
  chased by that one.

  2. When any of the conditions provided for in the previous section are not met, the
  data processing related to infractions and administrative sanctions will have to count

  with the consent of the interested party or be authorized by a rule of law, in
  which will regulate, where appropriate, additional guarantees for the rights and freedoms of the
  affected.

  3. Apart from the assumptions indicated in the previous sections, the data processing
  referred to administrative infractions and sanctions will only be possible when they are
  carried out by lawyers and solicitors and are intended to collect the information

  facilitated by its clients for the exercise of its functions. ”

We also see this protection in the regulations on access to public information (although
which is not directly applicable in the present case). Thus, Article 23 of the LTC states that “Les
Requests for access to public information must be denied if the information is sought
obtain contains specially protected personal data, such as those relating to ideology,

trade union membership, religion, beliefs, racial origin, health and sex life, as well as
relating to the commission of criminal or administrative offenses which do not involve a reprimand
public to the offender, unless the person expressly consents to it in writing
to accompany the application. "

It is worth mentioning that this protection should be extended to those research actions that form
part of a previous information carried out by the competent administration and which have not

finalized in a sanctioning proceeding. In these cases, as this has shown
Authority previously, the link of the natural person with some facts likely to be
subject to a sanctioning file that has finally been filed have an impact on it





                                                                                                8personal and professional reputation that also require, and most importantly, a special
protection.

In the present case, it should be noted that the consent of the parties has not been provided

possible affected so that such information can be disclosed (Article 13.2.f) LAIA). Per
this should exclude access to files of a sanctioning nature or prior information a
a sanctioning record.

However, it is necessary to take into account the specific legislation on the environment
establishes sanctions that lead to the publication of the offender's data, as would be the case, for
example of the very serious infractions typified in Law 20/2009, of 4 December, of

prevention and environmental control of activities, which in its article 83 provides that in the case of
very serious infractions of those typified in its article 80 (relating to the exercise of activities
without the corresponding authorizations or in breach of the conditions imposed where applicable
damage to the environment) may lead to the imposition of a penalty consisting of
“Publication, using the means deemed appropriate, the sanctions imposed, one
once they have acquired firmness by administrative or, where appropriate, jurisdictional procedure, and also

of the name, surnames or denomination or company name of natural or legal persons
responsible and the nature and nature of the infringements ”(Article 83.a) .5).

Therefore, access to the environmental information requested by the claimant referred to
natural persons as responsible or allegedly responsible for infringements by the
water pollution, should be limited on the basis of the provisions of Article 13.2.f) of
LAIA and data protection legislation (Article 10 RGPD and Article 27 LOPDGDD), except in

in the case of sanctioning proceedings in which a sanction has been imposed, for a very serious infraction,
consistent with the publication of the data of the person responsible for the infringement, since in this case the
regulations governing this provision would be the enabling legal norm for its
communication under the terms of Article 27.2 of the LOPDGDD. In those cases where there is
imposed the publication penalty, the information relating to the offense committed and the
sanction imposed, identifying the person responsible although access to
the complete file.


On the other hand, from the point of view of the public interest in accessing this information
environmental interest cannot be denied if the environmental administration has instructed
disciplinary proceedings for pollution in the environment. However, this purpose is
could also be achieved without violating the special protection of the personal data of
responsible for administrative or criminal offenses provided for by the regulations in question, if any

provide the information in such a way that the affected persons are not identifiable.

In this sense, data protection regulations would not prevent the provision of aggregated information
on the number of disciplinary proceedings processed in a given area or period,
provided that the affected natural persons are not identifiable.

To determine whether a natural person is identifiable “all must be taken into account

means, such as singularization, that can be reasonably used by the person in charge of the
treatment or any other person to directly or indirectly identify the individual.
To determine whether there is a reasonable probability that means will be used to identify a
a natural person, all objective factors must be taken into account, such as costs and



                                                                                               9time required for identification, taking into account both the technology available in the
moment of treatment as technological advances ”(recital 26 RGPD).





                                               V

With regard to information relating to third parties that may appear in the files no
sanctioning or sanctioning to legal persons, it may be provided that the proceedings

claimed contain personal data of public employees in charge of processing the
files (inspectors, instructors, competent public officials, etc.), but also of the
natural persons who have acted on behalf of and on behalf of companies as well as third parties
people who may have intervened as whistleblowers, witnesses, etc. In order to determine if
this personal information can be accessed and the interest at stake must be weighed
provided for in Article 14.4 of the LAIA. This section does not refer to third party data

persons who may be included in sanctioning proceedings processed against natural persons, because
in this case, as we have already stated, access to this type of file should be excluded.

As set out in accordance with Article 13.4 of the LAIA, the grounds for refusal provided for in
must be interpreted restrictively. For this purpose, a weighting must be carried out in each case
between the public interest that would be served with the dissemination of information, with the interest that
would be met with his refusal. Regarding the data of public employees who may

The requested information must be taken into account when making the weighting
identification of these is carried out within the framework of their link and the services they provide
public administration, so that access to your data is directly related
with its public functions.

Disclosure of this type of information does not appear to involve, in general, one
special impact on the right to data protection, taking into account the duty of employees

identify themselves in the files in which they are involved.

Therefore, except in exceptional cases where it is necessary to preserve their privacy by the
personal situation that some of these workers have revealed, in principle it should not
there is an impediment to facilitating access to information that contains merely data
(name and surname) of employees or public officials.


The requested information may also contain information about the individuals who
have acted in the proceedings on behalf of the legal person.

In this case, in order to make the balance between the public interests at stake, it is necessary to take into account
consideration that given the wide time period affected by the application (since 1975) is
you may anticipate that a significant number of these representatives will no longer serve in

those companies. From the point of view of protecting the privacy of these people on
which may be related to disciplinary or investigative proceedings in relation to
the company in which you may no longer be a service provider may cause harm to your business
professional and even personal.




                                                                                              10On the other hand, the public interest in disseminating this information from the point of view
environmental protection is very low, but the disclosure of this information may have an effect
negative in their privacy, insofar as it is related to facts that have a
dealing with the commission of administrative offenses or which may even have resulted in

criminal liability in respect of legal persons, in which their participation has
state solely as legal representatives.
Therefore, the identification data of these third parties that appear in the files
as representatives of legal entities given the limited public significance of the
information for environmental purposes and the damage to your privacy must be preserved from the
its dissemination.


Finally, the files claimed may contain information from third parties
have any circumstances intervened in the case, for example as whistleblowers,
interested parties or witnesses.

In principle, it does not appear that the information regarding these people may appear
incidentally in the claimed files is relevant to ensure the public interest in access

to environmental information. On the other hand, it can be predicted that people who put in
knowledge of the administration facts that may constitute an administrative infraction
or criminal, or who intervene in the proceedings as witnesses, do so with expectations of
privacy so that your personal information is not disclosed to third parties. Per
against the disclosure of their identity could have negative harm to these people
both professionally and personally.


Therefore, this information should be omitted from the claimed files.


Conclusion

From the perspective of personal data protection regulations, it can be provided in the
claiming the information available to the body regarding discharge authorizations

with a significant effect on the environment, as well as information on the derived data
monitoring activities that may affect the environment, etc.

The complainant's access to the sanctioning files provided by the body must be excluded
on the pollution of the waters in which the person responsible for the pollution is one
natural person, although access to the offense committed, the sanction imposed and the

infringing subject, when a very serious infringement has been imposed for publication. The
Data protection regulations do not preclude access to information on sanctions against individuals
legal or aggregate information on those imposed on individuals that it does not allow
identify them.

With regard to the data of third parties that may appear in the files in which it is possible
access, the personal data of third parties must be anonymised (legal representatives,

whistleblowers or witnesses) that may appear, except for the persons who have intervened
by reason of his office.





                                                                                              11Barcelona, November 4, 2021























































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