CJEU - C-73/07 - Satamedia

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CJEU - C-73/07 Satamedia
Court: CJEU
Jurisdiction: European Union
Relevant Law:
[ Article 3(1) of Directive 95/46/EC]
Decided: 16.12.2008
Parties: Tietosuojavaltuutettu v Satakunnan Markkinapörssi Oy, Satamedia Oy,
Case Number/Name: C-73/07 Satamedia
European Case Law Identifier: ECLI:EU:C:2008:727
Reference from: KHO (Finland)
Language: 24 EU Languages
Original Source: Judgement
Initial Contributor: TaraTB

Questions referred: (1) |Whether collection, publication, transfer of a CD ROM and text messages constitutes processing of personal data; (2) Whether it is processing for solely journalistic purposes within the meaning of Article 9 of Directive 95/46; (3) Whether Article 17 and principles of Directive 95/46 preclude publication of data collected for journalistic purposes and their onward transfer for commercial purposes; (4) Whether personal data that have already been published in the media fall outside scope of Directive 95/46. Definition of personal data Definition of processing Scope of Directive 95/46 Processing for solely journalistic purposes

English Summary[edit | edit source]

Facts[edit | edit source]

Reference for preliminary ruling by the Korkein hallinto-oikeus (administrative court, Helsinki). Defendant 1: (a) collected public personal data (the name of persons whose income exceeded a threshold, the amount of earned and unearned income, and the wealth tax levied) from Finnish tax authorities and (b) published extracts in a regional newspaper each year. The newspaper stated that personal data can be removed on request without charge. Defendant 1 also: (c) transferred the data on CD ROM to Defendant 2 (owned by the same shareholders) which (d) disseminated them by text messaging system.

Holding[edit | edit source]

1. Article 3(1) of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data is to be interpreted as meaning that an activity in which data on the earned and unearned income and the assets of natural persons are:

– collected from documents in the public domain held by the tax authorities and processed for publication,

– published alphabetically in printed form by income bracket and municipality in the form of comprehensive lists,

– transferred onward on CD-ROM to be used for commercial purposes, and

– processed for the purposes of a text-messaging service whereby mobile telephone users can, by sending a text message containing details of an individual’s name and municipality of residence to a given number, receive in reply information concerning the earned and unearned income and assets of that person,

must be considered as the ‘processing of personal data’ within the meaning of that provision.

2. Article 9 of Directive 95/46 is to be interpreted as meaning that the activities referred to at points (a) to (d) of the first question, relating to data from documents which are in the public domain under national legislation, must be considered as activities involving the processing of personal data carried out ‘solely for journalistic purposes’, within the meaning of that provision, if the sole object of those activities is the disclosure to the public of information, opinions or ideas. Whether that is the case is a matter for the national court to determine.

3. Activities involving the processing of personal data such as those referred to at points (c) and (d) of the first question and relating to personal data files which contain solely, and in unaltered form, material that has already been published in the media, fall within the scope of application of Directive 95/46.

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