CJEU - C-141/12 and C-372/12 - YS v. Minister voor Immigratie, Integratie en Asiel

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CJEU - C-141/12 and C-372/12 YS v. Minister voor Immigratie, Integratie en Asiel
Cjeulogo.png
Court: CJEU
Jurisdiction: European Union
Relevant Law:
Charter
Directive 95/46
Decided: 17.07.2014
Parties: YS
M
Minister voor Immigratie, Integratie en Asiel
Case Number/Name: C-141/12 and C-372/12 YS v. Minister voor Immigratie, Integratie en Asiel
European Case Law Identifier: EU:C:2014:2081
Reference from:
Language: 24 EU Languages
Original Source: AG Opinion
Judgement
Initial Contributor: n/a

The CJEU precised the definition of personal data under Article 2 of Directive 95/46 and ruled that when the data subject requests a copy, the controller must not especially provide a copy of the original document which contains the personal data.

English Summary[edit | edit source]

Facts[edit | edit source]

This decision ruled about two joined cases which concern third country people who applied for a residence permit in the Netherlands.

In immigration procedures in the Netherlands, when deciding on an application for asylum, the officer in charge of an application drafts a decision and a minute which contains a justification of the decision for internal purpose. This minute contains information such as name, date of birth, ethnicity, religion and gender. It also includes a legal analysis which consists in an assessment of the information in the light of the legal provisions.

These minutes were made available upon request until it the administration realised the amount of work it represented. From July 2009, the requests for communication of the minutes were therefore systematically refused and the administration provided a summary of the personal data contained in the document.

The two applicants for residency requested a copy of the minute, which the administration refused. They only received the summary of personal data included in the documents. Both applicants contested this refusal with two different District Courts. These procedures were joint and several questions were referred to the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling. The Court summarized these questions as follows:

1) The referring courts ask whether Article 2(a) of Directive 95/46 must be interpreted as meaning that the data relating to the applicant for a residence permit and the legal analysis included in the minute are ‘personal data’ within the meaning of that provision.

2) Does the protection of the rights and freedoms of others, within the meaning of Article 13(1)(g) of [Directive 95/46] …, also cover the interest in an internal undisturbed exchange of views within the public authority concerned? If the answer to that is in the negative, can that interest then be covered by Article 13(1)(d) or (f) of that directive?

3) The referring courts ask whether Article 12(a) of Directive 95/46 and Article 8(2) of the Charter must be interpreted as meaning that the applicant for a residence permit has a right of access to data concerning him which are in the minute and, if so, whether that right to access implies that the competent authorities must provide him with a copy of that minute or whether it is sufficient for them to send him a full summary of those data in an intelligible form.

4) The referring courts ask whether Article 41(2)(b) of the Charter must be interpreted as meaning that the applicant for a residence permit may rely against national authorities on the right of access to the file provided for in that provision and, if so, what is the scope of the phrase ‘while respecting the legitimate interests of confidentiality’ in decision-making within the meaning of that provision.

Holding[edit | edit source]

The Court provided the following answers:

1) The Court considered that the name, date of birth, nationality, gender, ethnicity, religion and language (which are included in the minutes) are personal data within the meaning of Article 2(a) of Directive 95/46. By contrast, the legal analysis may contain personal data but cannot be classified itself as personal data.

2) The Court held that there was no need to answer the second question since it required an answer only if the legal analysis would be classified as personal data.

3) The Court recalled that Article 8 of the Charter and 12 of the directive imply that the data subjects have a right to obtain a copy of their data. However, it does not derive from these articles a right to obtain a copy of the original document in which these data appear. It is therefore sufficient on the part of the controller to provide a summary of the data collected in an intelligible form.

4) The Court held that it is clear from the wording of Article 41 of the Charter that it is addressed to the bodies of the European Union and not to the Member States. Consequently, the applicant for a residence cannot rely on this provision.

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