LSG Hamburg - L 3 R 7/21

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LSG Hamburg - L 3 R 7/21
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Court: LSG Hamburg (Germany)
Jurisdiction: Germany
Relevant Law: Article 16 GDPR
§ 35(2)(1) SGB I
Decided: 14.09.2021
Published:
Parties: anonymous
National Case Number/Name: L 3 R 7/21
European Case Law Identifier:
Appeal from: SG Hamburg
Appeal to:
Original Language(s): German
Original Source: Landesrecht-Hamburg (in German)
Initial Contributor: Heiko Hanusch

The Regional Social Court of Hamburg held that a data subject has only the right to have incomplete personal data completed under Art. 16 GDPR if the additional data is necessary for achieving the purposes of the processing.

English Summary[edit | edit source]

Facts[edit | edit source]

The data subject did an apprenticeship from 1978 to 1983. The pension notice mentioned her apprenticeship with 31 months. This was the period which the defendant acknowleged as being eligible for the data subject's pension. The data subject did not contest this notion of the defendant. However, with her claim before the Social Court of Hamburg (Sozialgericht Hamburg - SG Hamburg) she requested clarification that her apprenticeship did not only take 31 months but 5 years. She was afraid of drawbacks on account of an official document mentioning only 31 months. The Social Court of Hamburg denied her request.

Holding[edit | edit source]

The Regional Social Court (Landessozialgericht Hamburg - LSG Hamburg) upheld the decision of the Social Court on the basis of the Social Court's reasoning.

In its not published decision, the Social Court of Hamburg referrered to the beginning of the second sentence of Article 16 GDPR which states that the pruposes of the processing have to be taken into account. As a consequence, it reasoned that the concept of completeness in Article 16 GDPR is to be understood relatively and not absolutely. Personal data is therefore only incomplete in the sense of Article 16 GDPR if it is so incomplete that the purpose of the processing can no longer be achieved. Insofar as the data satisfies the (possibly very specific) purpose determined by the controller, the data subject cannot demand the inclusion of additional data which, from his point of view, is supposedly useful in the respective context but is not necessary to achieve the purpose. The purpose of listing the periods in the contested notice of the defendant was to justify the amount of the pension granted. This was already apparent from the fact that the insurance history was preceded by the explanatory statement that the list contained data that is relevant for determining the amount of pension. The insurance history did not serve the purpose of presenting a complete curriculum vitae of the plaintiff.

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

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

Court: Landessozialgericht Hamburg 3rd Senate
Date of decision: 14.09.2021
File number:	L 3 R 7/21
Document type: Judgment

Tenor

   The applicant's appeal is dismissed.

   Extrajudicial costs are not to be reimbursed in the appeal proceedings either.

   The appeal is not admitted.

Facts

Paragraph 1

   The plaintiff seeks the correction of her pension assessment by completing periods of training.

Paragraph 2

   The plaintiff, who was born on xxxxx in 1963, was born in P., entered Germany on 29 January 1987 and has since acquired German nationality after naturalisation. She was employed as a nurse subject to social insurance contributions and is insured with the defendant's pension scheme. She applied for a pension for reduced earning capacity with the defendant and was asked to provide further information on her employment for the purpose of clarifying her pension account.

Paragraph 3

   She stated that she had gone to a general school from 1979 to 1978, then to the L., a medical grammar school in her home town. There she had completed her training as a qualified nurse in May 1983. She submitted a school-leaving certificate confirming this information. The certificate was dated 31 May 1983.

Paragraph 4

   By decision of 6 February 2019, the defendant granted the plaintiff a pension for full reduction in earning capacity from 1 April 2018. The decision contains an insurance history as an annex. In the explanations of the decision, it was made clear that the list contained such data as were relevant for the determination and provision of benefits. According to this, the defendant took into account 31 months of technical school training as a credit period from 14 November 1980 to 31 May 1983, and 24 months of compulsory contribution periods for bringing up children from 1 September 1987 to 31 August 1989.

Paragraph 5

   The defendant explained that the period from 1 September 1978 to 13 November 1980 could not be recognised as a credit period because the training was completed before the child reached the age of 17. The period from 31 August 1987 to 30 August 1997 had been recognised as a period taken into account for bringing up children.

Paragraph 6

   The plaintiff lodged an objection against this. She stated that the training did not last 31 months, but a total of 5 years from 1978 to 1983. In addition, she stated that the information on the child-raising periods was also incorrect. She had financially supported her daughter until she was 21 and she had also been in her care.

Paragraph 7

   By decision of 17 April 2019, the defendant rejected the appeal as unfounded. It stated in justification that according to § 57 of the Sixth Book of the Code of Social Law (SGB VI), the period of bringing up a child until the child's 10th birthday is to be recognised as a period of consideration for bringing up a child, i.e. in the case of the plaintiff until 30 August 1997, as the daughter had reached the age of ten on 31 August 1997.

Paragraph 8

   In addition, according to § 58.1 sentence 1 no. 4 of the Social Code Book VI, periods of school education are to be taken into account during which the insured person attended a school, technical college or university after reaching the age of 17, or participated in a pre-vocational training measure. The plaintiff reached the age of 17 on 13 November 1980, which is why the technical school education completed before that date could not be recognised as a credit period.

Paragraph9

   In the action brought before the Social Court of Hamburg on 17 May 2019, the plaintiff claimed that the information in the pension decision needed to be corrected. Her training had lasted 5 years and not merely 31 months. She feared that she could be made to suffer difficulties if an official document did not contain complete information. She therefore requested that the training be correctly presented, even if it was only partially recognised.

Paragraph10

   After hearing the parties, the Social Court ruled by court order on 2 December 2020 and dismissed the application. Insofar as the action related to the recognition of periods of education and child-raising, the decision of the defendant was not objectionable, the periods relevant under pension law had been correctly ascertained and taken into account; in this respect, reference was to be made to the statements of the defendant in the notice of objection. Insofar as the plaintiff requested the completion of her personal data in the pension decision, the action was already inadmissible, but otherwise also unfounded. The plaintiff had only substantiated her request for correction in the legal proceedings and the defendant had assumed in the notice of opposition that the periods in question had been taken into account in the pension notice. Irrespective of this, the action was also unfounded. The plaintiff had no claim to completion of the personal data concerning her pursuant to § 35.2 sentence 1 of the First Book of the German Social Code (SGB I) in conjunction with Art. 16 sentence 2 of the Basic Data Protection Regulation. Article 16 sentence 2 of the General Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO). Pursuant to Article 16 sentence 2 of the GDPR, the data subject had the right to request the completion of incomplete personal data - also by means of a supplementary declaration - taking into account the purposes of the processing. Although the periods of the plaintiff's training were personal data within the meaning of Article 4(1) of the GDPR, the data listed by the defendant in the decision were complete in this sense. The concept of completeness in Article 16 of the GDPR was to be understood relatively and not absolutely. It was not sufficient for incompleteness that any personal data were missing. Incompleteness was expressly subject to the consideration of the purposes of the processing. Personal data were therefore only incomplete if they were so incomplete in relation to the specific processing that the purpose of the processing was no longer achieved. A restriction of the right to completion therefore exists with regard to the purposes of the processing. Insofar as the data would satisfy the (possibly very specific) purpose determined by the controller, the data subject cannot demand the inclusion of additional data which, from his point of view, are supposedly useful in the respective context but are not necessary to achieve the purpose (with reference to Landessozialgericht für das Land Nordrhein-Westfalen, judgment of 24 July 2020 - L 21 AS 195/19 with further references). The purpose of listing the periods in the contested decision was to justify the amount of the pension granted. This was already apparent from the fact that the insurance history was preceded by the explanatory statement that the list contained data that were relevant for the determination and provision of benefits. The insurance history thus only contained periods which, from the point of view of the defendant, were relevant in terms of pension law, i.e. such periods which had an effect on the granting of the pension in terms of type, beginning and amount. For the reasons stated under II. above, it follows why the period of training from 1 September 1978 to 13 November 1980 was not relevant under pension law. Its listing was therefore not necessary to achieve the purpose of "determining the pension entitlement". The insurance history did not serve the purpose of presenting a complete curriculum vitae of the plaintiff, even if an official document on the complete training periods might appear useful for the plaintiff with regard to future obligations to provide evidence that might be imposed on her.

Paragraph 11

   On 8 January 2021, the applicant appealed against the court decision, which was served on her on 8 December 2021, arguing that the decision contained false, misleading and incorrect information. The decision of the Social Court was incomprehensible, discriminatory and not objective.

Paragraph12

   The applicant claims mutatis mutandis,

paragraph 13

   annul the decision of the Social Court of Hamburg of 3 December 2020 and amend the decision of the defendant of 6 February 2019 in the form of the notice of appeal of 7 April 2019 to the effect that her period of training from 1 September 1978 to 13 November 1980 is also listed for information purposes.

Paragraph 14

   The defendant applies,

paragraph 15

   dismiss the appeal.

Paragraph 16

   It refers to the contested decisions and the decision of the Social Court.

Paragraph17

   By letter of 10 September 2021, the applicant stated that she was unfit to stand trial and submitted a medical certificate. In an accompanying letter, she once again explained her position, pointing out that she could not attend the hearing. Facts had been omitted, which was outrageous. Her five-year training had been cut in half. It was not stated in the decision that the training had lasted five years and also not that only half of it was accounted for.

Paragraph 18

   For further details, reference is made to the contents of the case file and the defendant's administrative file.

Reasons for the decision

Paragraph19

   The court was able to hear and decide without the applicant's presence. The Claimant's personal appearance at the hearing date of 14 September 2021 was not ordered. The plaintiff informed the court that she was unable to attend the hearing and proved this by means of a medical certificate, but she did not apply for a postponement of the hearing. Such a request cannot be implied from her submissions. The plaintiff explained her position once again, pointing out that she could not appear due to illness. It does not follow from the submission that the date should be postponed.

Paragraph 20

   The appeal, which is admissible and, in particular, in due form and time, is admissible but not well-founded. The applicant's appeal has no prospect of success. The Social Court rightly and with correct reasoning dismissed the action. The Senate refers to the reasoning in the contested judgment of 3 December 2020 (§ 153.3 of the Social Court Act <SGG>). The Social Court presented the factual and legal situation in a detailed and legally correct manner. The applicant's submissions in the appeal proceedings are not suitable to justify a different decision.

Paragraph21

   It should be added that even if one assumes that the preliminary proceedings have covered the plaintiff's objections and that the action is therefore well-founded, as the senate tends to do, the action proves to be unfounded in any case for the reasons listed by the social court, because there is no claim to completion or correction of the pension decision with regard to the periods of training, neither according to the social law nor according to the data protection law regulations. The plaintiff has no claim to the presentation of her complete school and training periods. A pension notice is not a curriculum vitae or a document proving general personal data. Only the data relevant for the granting of the pension are to be listed - as the Social Court correctly pointed out. This is what happened in the present case.

Paragraph 22

   The decision on costs follows from § 193 SGG.

Paragraph 23

   The appeal was not to be allowed because the requirements under § 160 SGG were not met.