Editing RvS - 201905319/1/A3

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The Dutch Council of State (RvS) ruled that a data subject's search for evidence that the Municipal Executive unlawfully processed personal data does not make their access request unlawful. This is the case even if the data subject does so in hope of getting compensation.
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The Dutch Council of State ruled that the search for evidence that the Municipal Executive has unlawfully processed personal data with an eye on requesting compensation does not make an access request under GDPR unlawful.
  
 
==English Summary==
 
==English Summary==
  
 
===Facts===
 
===Facts===
The requester has submitted an access request to the Municipal Executive of Zundert. He wanted to know if the Municipal Executive was processing his data by posting messages on the Forum of the Association of Municipalities of the Netherlands (VNG) and have the content of those messages. The Municipal Executive has rejected this request because, among other reasons, the requester’s signature didn’t match the signature on the FOI request submitted by the person with the same name living at the same address as the requester. The Municipal Executive invited the requester to visit the town hall. Instead, the requester sent a letter with an explanation of why the signatures were not matching together with the copies of an ID card and a bank card. The Municipality did not accept the letter and refused to proceed with the access request. The requester sent a written objection and included a copy of his passport. The Municipal Executive rejected the objection on the basis that the requester was misusing his rights.
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The requester has submitted an access request to the Municipal Executive of Zundert. He wanted to know if the Municipal Executive was processing his data by posting messages on the Forum of the Association of Municipalities of the Netherlands (VNG) and have the content of those messages. The Municipal Executive has rejected this request because, among other reasons, the requester’s signature didn’t match the signature on the FOI request submitted by the person with the same name living at the same address as the requester. The Municipal Executive invited the requester to visit the town hall. Instead, the requester sent a letter with an explanation of why the signatures were not matching together with the copies of an ID card and a bank card. The Municipality did not accept the letter and refused to proceed with the access request. The requester sent a written objection and included a copy of his passport. The Municipal Executive rejected the objection on the basis that the requester was misusing his rights.  
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The requester took the Municipal Executive to court which agreed with the requester and ruled that a copy of passport was enough to establish the identity of the requester. The Municipality Executive is appealing this decision.
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The requester took the Municipal Executive to court which agreed with the requester and ruled that a copy of passport was enough to establish the identity of the requester. The Municipality Executive is appealing this decision.
 
 
===Dispute===
 
===Dispute===
 
1. Can the requester’s access requested be rejected on the basis that the requester is abusing the law?
 
1. Can the requester’s access requested be rejected on the basis that the requester is abusing the law?
 
2. Under these circumstances, is a copy of passport enough to establish the identity of the requester?
 
2. Under these circumstances, is a copy of passport enough to establish the identity of the requester?
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===Holding===
 
===Holding===
 
On the first question, the Council has no reason to rule that the requester is misusing his right of access. Finding out what information was posted on the VNG forum is in line with the purpose of the Personal Data Protection Act and, subsequently, the GDPR. Request for compensation in case his data is processed unlawfully is also in line with the GDPR. The facts that this may be the reason for the access request and that requests like this were submitted to other municipalities, do not mean that the purpose of the request is not in line with the purposes of the GDPR.
 
On the first question, the Council has no reason to rule that the requester is misusing his right of access. Finding out what information was posted on the VNG forum is in line with the purpose of the Personal Data Protection Act and, subsequently, the GDPR. Request for compensation in case his data is processed unlawfully is also in line with the GDPR. The facts that this may be the reason for the access request and that requests like this were submitted to other municipalities, do not mean that the purpose of the request is not in line with the purposes of the GDPR.

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