DVI (Latvia) - LocateFamily administrācija

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DVI - LocateFamily administrācija
LogoLV.png
Authority: DVI (Latvia)
Jurisdiction: Latvia
Relevant Law: Article 5(1)(b) GDPR
Article 6(1)(a) GDPR
Type: Investigation
Outcome: Violation Found
Started:
Decided: 11.01.2023
Published:
Fine: n/a
Parties: LocateFamily
National Case Number/Name: LocateFamily administrācija
European Case Law Identifier: n/a
Appeal: Unknown
Original Language(s): Latvian
Original Source: DVI (Latvia) (in LV)
Initial Contributor: mg

The Latvian DPA ordered a website to delete information about more than 13,000 people whose data were scraped online from publicly available sources, considering that the processing violated the principle of purpose limitation.

English Summary[edit | edit source]

Facts[edit | edit source]

The controller managed a website called “Locate Family” which collected and published information about population in several countries. This information included address, phone number, name and surname of data subjects. The website enabled users to find relatives and friends in other countries.

The Latvian DPA started an ex officio investigation.

The controller claimed that the GDPR was not applicable to them, as the controller had no establishment within the EU. Moreover, the controller argued that data were collected prior to the the GDPR and by public available sources, where data were originally uploaded with the consent of the data subjects.

Holding[edit | edit source]

The Latvian DPA disregarded the argument that the GDPR did not apply to the controller. As a matter of fact, the GDPR applies also to controllers that do not have an establishment within the EU, when their processing activities relate to the offering of goods and services to data subjects within the Union, regardless of whether the latter are asked to pay a fee, according to Article 3(2)(a) GDPR. The DPA also noticed then that the controller did not appoint any representative within the Union, as prescribed by Article 27(1) GDPR.

The argument that data were collected before the GDPR were also discarded, as no provision in the text of the Regulation exempts such a category of data from the scope of the law.

Finally, the DPA assessed whether the controller had a valid legal basis for the processing. The DPA found that consent was not valid, as it was originally given in the context of purposes other than the one at issue. Article 6(1)(a) GDPR also specifies that consent must be given for “one or more specific purposes” to be valid. The processing by the controller thus constituted a violation of Article 5(1)(b) GDPR, to the extent that it infringed the principle of purpose limitation. The fact that the information was publicly available did not authorise the controller to use it for its own processing activities.

In light of the above, the DPA ordered the controller to erase personal data of the people residing in Latvia pursuant to Article 58(2)(d) GDPR.

Comment[edit | edit source]

Although the decision dates back to January 2021, it does not seem that the controller complied with the DPA's order. See the controller's website.

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 Latvian original. Please refer to the Latvian original for more details.

Elijas iela 17, Riga, LV-1050, tel. 67223131, e-mail pasts@dvi.gov.lv, www.dvi.gov.lv


                                                 Riga



                                                                                                    [..]


                                                                                     Internet sites
                                                              www.locatefamily.com for administration
                                                                            legal@LocateFamily.com


                                             The decision


Riga,
__ of 2023 in January                                                                          [..]

On the application of the corrective measure

      [1.] Data State Inspection (hereinafter - the Inspection) on December 21, 2020 and 2021

On October 25, received information indicating possible violations on the website
in personal data processing activities carried out by www.locatefamily.com (hereinafter – LocateFamily).
      [2.] In order to verify the legality of the activities carried out on the LocateFamily website and
in accordance with the first part of Article 4 of the Personal Data Processing Law (hereinafter – the Data Law).
Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 1 of the first part of Article 5 of the General Data Protection Regulation (hereinafter - Data

regulation) Article 57 paragraph 1 sub-paragraphs “a” and “h” and Article 58 paragraph 1 “a”, “d”, “e” of the Data Regulation
The inspection officer performed the following actions and found the following circumstances:
      [2.1] 11/2021 carried out an initial review of the LocateFamily website in February (hereinafter -
View no. 1), during which it was established that:
      1) LocateFamily is a website that collects information about residents, including

about the residents of the Republic of Latvia;
      2) LocateFamily contains personal data (address, phone number, name and surname)
information on 13,323 residents of the Republic of Latvia;
      3) the website does not contain information about the maintainer or administrator of the website, with the website
can be contacted by filling out the contact form available on the website or by calling the phone number 1 (302) 223-

5135 (in the United States of America in the state of Delaware);
      4) LocateFamily Registration Information - Anonymize, Inc.,
locatefamily.com@anonymize.com, 704 228th Ave NE, Sammamish, WA, 98074, US;



1Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2018 on the protection of natural persons in relation to
on the processing of personal data and the free circulation of such data and which repeals Directive 95/46/EC.
2 Inspection report of February 11, 2021 [..] 2


      5) LocateFamily's privacy policy states that the site does not distribute information to third parties,
e-mail addresses or other information obtained by communicating with users. Available
information is obtained and maintained by LocateFamily and is used only by LocateFamily. Site users have
it is possible to submit a request to delete information about the user.
      [2.2.] Based on Review no. 1 information obtained about the personal data carried out by LocateFamily

processing and publication of personal data, the Inspectorate started an inspection case on February 15, 2021 [..]
(hereinafter – the Case) regarding the processing of personal data carried out on the website LocateFamily.
      [2.3.] On March 25, 2022, the Inspectorate conducted a repeated inspection of the LocateFamily website
(hereinafter – Inspection No. 2), during which it was found that 2.1 of this decision. the actual ones mentioned in sub
conditions have not changed except:

      1) LocateFamily owner information has been redacted for privacy. In turn, the domain
the owner of the technical resources is registered in Iceland;
      2) legal questions can be sent to the email address: legal@LocateFamily.com.
At the same time, there is a note that all data deletion requests that will be sent to the mentioned

email address will be ignored. Users are encouraged to use the deletions developed by the site
requests mechanism.
      [2.4.] In the letter dated March 31, 2022 (hereinafter – Request No. 1), the Inspectorate 4 invited
LocateFamily administration to review its personal data processing processes, to eliminate the identified ones
shortcomings and provide information on the questions asked.

      [2.5] On April 5, 2022, LocateFamily informed that:
      1) LocateFamily is not located in the European Union (hereinafter - EU), therefore on LocateFamily
the regulation of EU regulatory acts does not apply;
      2) The data published by LocateFamily has been obtained from public sources before the Data Regulation came into force

entry and data subjects have given their consent to the processing of their personal data, aware that the data will
freely available.
      [2.6.] Inspection on August 23, 2022 in a letter (hereinafter - Request No. 2), repeated
invited the LocateFamily administration to review its personal data processing processes, prevent
identified deficiencies and provide information on the questions asked.

      [2.7] On August 24, 2022, LocateFamily reiterated that LocateFamily is not subject to
Regulation of EU regulatory acts, and also informed that in the event of a data subject's complaint, information from
the LocateFamily website will be deleted.
      [2.8.] On December 9, 2022, the Inspectorate conducted a third inspection of the LocateFamily website
                6
(Review No. 3) regarding the processing of personal data carried out on the website, during which it was found that the decision
2.3. the actual conditions mentioned in subsection have not changed.
      [3.] The inspection has taken steps to ascertain the addressee's opinion and found that:
      [3.1.] LocateFamily has provided answers to Inspection Request no. 1 and no. 2, 2022
on April 5 and August 24, 2022, explaining that at the discretion of the administration, the operation of LocateFamily

and the processing of personal data carried out by LocateFamily is not covered by the regulation of EU regulatory acts, because
LocateFamily is not registered in the EU and thus the activities of LocateFamily are not subject to the Data Regulation.
      [3.2] Personal data published on the LocateFamily website is obtained from public sources
before the entry into force of the Data Regulation and data subjects have given their consent to the processing of their personal data,

knowing that the data will be freely available.
      [4.] Taking into account the findings in points [1-3] of this decision, the Inspection concludes:
      [4.1.] on the applicability of the Data Regulation to the processing of personal data by LocateFamily:

3
4 Inspection report of March 25, 2022 [..]
5 Letter of the inspection dated March 31, 2022 [..]
6 Letter of the inspection dated August 23, 2022 [..]
 Inspections of December 12, 2022 [].. 3

      In accordance with Article 3, paragraph 2, subparagraph "a" of the Data Regulation, the Data Regulation is applied in Europe
                                                                                                    7
for the processing of personal data of data subjects in the Union (hereinafter - the Union) by the controller or
a processor not established in the Union if the processing activities are related to goods or
offering services to such data subjects in the Union, whether or not from the data subject
payment is requested. Among them, Article 27, Clause 1 of the Data Regulation results from the obligation to the controller in writing
to appoint its representative in the Union. Recital 23 of the Data Regulation explains its territorial aspects in more detail

aspect of applicability, namely to ensure that natural persons are not denied protection which
they are entitled, in accordance with this regulation, to the processing of personal data of data subjects in the Union, which is carried out
controller or processor not established in the Union should be made in accordance with this Regulation if
processing activities are related to offering goods or services to such data subjects
whether or not it involves payment.

      According to publicly available information, LocateFamily is a platform where people can search for it
contact information of family members with whom they have lost contact or others
contact information with whom they would like to be contacted. It follows from the above that LocateFamily provides
search services for information, including personal data.
      As already established in the decision 2.1. subsection, LocateFamily contains personal data

(address, phone number, name and surname) information on 13,323 residents of the Republic of Latvia.
Therefore, 2.5 of this decision. and 2.7. LocateFamily's opinion contained in subsection that on it
the processing of personal data carried out is not covered by Union regulation, is not justified, because on the website
LocateFamily is processed by the Union, incl. Personal data of citizens of the Republic of Latvia.
      At the same time, the Inspectorate has no information, nor has the manager provided any information during the course of the investigation

information that LocateFamily has fulfilled the obligation imposed by Article 27, paragraph 1 of the Data Regulation
to appoint its representative in the Union, therefore the provisions contained in Article 27, Paragraph 1 of the Data Regulation were not complied with
regulation.
      In compliance with the above, it can be established that LocateFamily, in compliance with Article 3, Clause 2 of the Data Regulation
covered territorial scope, the requirements of the Data Regulation are binding.

      [4.2.] On the legal basis of processing and consent given by data subjects to data processing:
      Compliance with the personal data processing principles set out in Article 5 of the Data Regulation and one of the Data
The legal bases for personal data processing defined in Article 6, Paragraph 1 of the Regulation are
mandatory requirements to recognize the processing of personal data as legal. Taking into account the above, the Inspection concludes,
that in the specific case, the only legal basis for personal data processing could be the data subject
           8
consent and in accordance with Article 5, Clause 2 of the Data Regulation, the manager is responsible for the compliance of the Data
paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the regulation and the manager must be able to clearly demonstrate it.
      Pursuant to Article 7, Paragraph 1 of the Data Regulation, if data processing is based on consent, the controller
it is necessary to be able to demonstrably prove that the data subject has consented to the processing of his personal data. According to Data

Article 4, Clause 11 of the Regulation, the data subject's consent is any freely given, specific, informed and
unequivocal indication of the wishes of the data subject, with which he is notified or clearly affirmative
gives consent to the processing of his personal data in the form of action.
      Article 6(1)(a) of the Data Regulation stipulates that the consent of the data subject must be given
in relation to “one or more specific” purposes and the data subject can choose in relation to

each of them. In turn, in accordance with Article 5, Paragraph 1, Subsection "b" of the Data Regulation, in order to receive in force
existing consent, the intended processing activity must always be specific, clear and legitimate
purpose. The need for specific consent combined with the concept of purpose limitation 5.


7 "controller" is a natural or legal person, public institution, agency or other body that alone or jointly with
for others, the purposes and means of personal data processing are determined; if the purposes and means of such processing are determined by the Union
or the legislation of a Member State, the manager or the specific criteria for his appointment can be provided by the Union or
in the legislation of the Member State
8 Article 6, paragraph 1, subparagraph "a", subparagraph 4 of the Data Regulation


Article 1(1)(b) acts as a protective measure against the purpose for which the data is sent
processed, gradual expansion or merging after the data subject has consented
for initial data collection.
      As established in section 3.2 of this decision. subsection, LocateFamily claims that published personal data

have been obtained from public sources before the entry into force of the Data Regulation and have been provided by the data subjects
consent to the processing of their personal data, knowing that the data will be freely available. Considering persons
the principle of limitation of the purpose of data processing (Article 5, paragraph 1, sub-paragraph "b"), the fact that persons
the data are publicly available does not give the right to further process them for another purpose and without the relevant Regulation

6. non-deterministic basis. Therefore, the fact that the administrator uses publicly available data does not make it so
the processing of personal data as legitimate and the controller requires the free consent of each data subject.
      Article 5, paragraph 2 of the Data Regulation stipulates that the controller is responsible for compliance with paragraph 1 and 9
it can be demonstrably demonstrated ("accountability"). Taking into account the above, in cases where the manager does not present

the existence of a legal basis and there are reasonable doubts that there might not be a legal basis, taking
taking into account the principle of accountability, it can be considered that the processing was carried out without a legal basis. Not in the inspection
provided evidence that would certify that the data subjects have given their consent to their personal data

for processing on the website LocateFamily, therefore such data processing cannot be based on Data
Article 6(1)(a) of the Regulation.
      The inspection concludes that the opinion provided by LocateFamily should be evaluated critically, that when providing the third party
consent to the processing of personal data, persons give their consent to the processing of personal data

also LocateFamily, and indefinitely. Even if the data subject once gave his consent
data processing or publishing your data in the public environment, this does not mean that the data subject automatically
consented to data processing by Locatefamily. In accordance with Article 5.1 of the Data Regulation. a) and b)
to the "lawfulness principle" and "purpose limitation principle" contained in subsection 10

LocateFamily, when publishing personal data of residents of the Republic of Latvia, had to obtain new data
subjects' consent to the processing of their personal data for one or more purposes, in addition to obtaining
separate consent for each purpose of personal data processing.
      At the same time, it should be noted that the conditions of personal data processing are also applicable to cases,
                                                           11
when the data was obtained before the entry into force of the Data Regulation and it was obtained from the public and freely
available sources. When the Data Regulation came into force, every controller had to make sure that his/her
the processing of personal data complies with the requirements of the Data Regulation, but when illegal personal data is found
processing - the data had to be destroyed. The fact that the personal data was freely available for publication before the Data

entry into force of the regulation, is not a reason to republish and store personal data for an indefinite period of time.


9 Personal data: a) are processed lawfully, in good faith and in a manner transparent to the data subject ("lawfulness, good faith and
transparency'); b) are collected for specific, clear and legitimate purposes, and their further processing is not carried out with the said
in a manner incompatible with the purposes; further processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical
for research purposes, or for statistical purposes in accordance with Article 891. points are considered to be replaceable and original
purposes ("purpose limitations"); c) are adequate, appropriate and include only what is necessary for the purposes of processing ("data
minimization'); (d) are accurate and, if necessary, up-to-date; all reasonable steps must be taken to ensure that inaccurate
personal data, taking into account the purposes for which it is processed, would be deleted or corrected without delay (“accuracy”); e) Yes
stored in a way that allows the identification of data subjects, no longer than necessary for the purposes for which the relevant personal data
processed; personal data can be stored longer, insofar as personal data will be processed only for archiving purposes in the public interest,
for scientific or historical research purposes, or for statistical purposes in accordance with Article 89, paragraph 1, provided that
the appropriate technical and organizational measures provided for in this regulation have been implemented to protect the rights of the data subject and
liberties (“storage restriction”); f) are processed in such a way that adequate security of personal data is ensured,
including protection against unauthorized or
illegal processing and against accidental loss, destruction.
10
  personal data is processed lawfully, in good faith and in a manner transparent to the data subject ("lawfulness, good faith and
transparency") and the data collected for a specific, clear and legitimate purpose. It is further processed for the aforementioned purpose
11 in a connecting manner. This principle does not allow the collection and processing of data without a specific need and purpose.
  May 25, 2018 5

      In compliance with the above, the processing of personal data in LocateFamily takes place without Article 6 of the Data Regulation
of the legal basis referred to in paragraph 1.
      [5] According to Article 58(2)(d) of the Data Regulation, each supervisory authority has

the authority to issue an order to the manager or processor to coordinate the processing activities with the Data Regulation
regulations, if necessary - in a specific way and in a specific period of time. Article 23 of the Data Law
determines that the Inspection, when making decisions regarding the imposition of a legal obligation, shall apply
Administrative Procedure Law.
      Taking into account the aforementioned and the fact that the activities of LocateFamily have been found to comply with the provisions of the Data Regulation
violations, the Inspection, in accordance with the first part of Article 66 of the Law on Administrative Procedure, has
it is necessary to decide on the usefulness of issuing an administrative act.

      [5.1.] Assessing the necessity and necessity of the administrative act, the Inspectorate has established that
the adoption of the decision is both necessary and necessary to achieve the goal of preventing the Data Regulation
violations of the rules. Namely, the LocateFamily administration has not eliminated the identified deficiencies so that
both the Inspection has pointed to it.
      [5.2.] An administrative act is a suitable means to achieve the goal, because it creates a legal
the obligation of LocateFamily to prevent detected violations, as well as to prevent the occurrence of similar violations

in the future.
      [5.3.] The administrative act is considered the most proportionate means to achieve the goal, because
compared to the decision on the imposition of an administrative penalty, it is considered more lenient. At the same time
the imposition of legal obligations is aimed at data subjects in the Data Regulation, the Data Law and other regulations
ensuring the fundamental rights to personal data protection provided for in the acts.
      In compliance with the above, the Inspection, based on Article 3, Clause 2, Article 5, Clause 1 of the Data Regulation
"a", "b" and point 2, Article 6, point 1, point "a", Article 7, Article 27, point 1,

Article 58(2)(d), Article 23 of the Data Law and the Administrative Procedure Law
Paragraph 2 of the first part of Article 63,

                                             decides:

      obligate the LocateFamily administration to delete the resident of the Republic of Latvia

data from the website www.locatefamily.com and inform the Inspectorate about it by 2023
March 1.

      In accordance with the second part of Article 24 of the Data Law, the first part of Article 76 of the Administrative Procedure Law and
the second part, the second part of Article 188 and the third part of Article 189 and the Council of Justice of May 18, 2022
of decision No. 32 "On courts, their areas of activity and locations", this decision can be appealed
within one month from the date of its entry into force in the Riga Courthouse of the Administrative District Court.



Director J. Macuka