Relating to the local government elections, the Office for Personal Data Protection is hereby releasing its position on provision of information on the local government candidates and on viewing of candidate lists.
It may be noted generally that a candidate, by giving his consent to her or his candidacy, is waiving her or his privacy to an extent. This interference with the right of privacy should be however limited in accordance with the applicable legal provisions. Information relating to the candidates or lists of candidates is requested based on Act No. 106/1999 Coll., on Free Access to Information, as subsequently amended (hereinafter "the Free Access to Information Act"), that has undergone several amendments, most recently in the current year.
The last amended version has newly included Article 8a, providing that “information relating to the personality, manifestations of personal nature, privacy of a natural person and personal data shall only be provided by the obligated body in accordance with the legal regulations governing their protection.” These legal provisions include in particular provisions of Article 11 to 16 of Act No. 40/1964 Coll., Civic Code, as subsequently amended, and provisions of Article 5 and Article 10 of Act No. 101/2000 Coll., on the Protection of Personal Data and on Amendment to Some Acts, as amended (hereinafter “the Personal Data Protection Act”).
Provision of information on individual candidates and viewing of candidate lists representing indisputable instances of personal data processing is subject to regulation as per Article 5 of the Personal Data Protection Act. In this particular case, however, neither any of the provisions of Article 5(2)(a) to (g) nor of Article 5(2)(f) of the Personal Data Protection Act may be applied as the information in question is not that on a public figure, public official or a public administration employee that would supply details of her or his public or official activities, the official position or position at work. The information concerns personal data of a particular person and these may be provided or made available for viewing in accordance with the provision of Article 5(2) of the Personal Data Protection Act only upon consent of the concerned person.
It should be noted in this respect that always a point in time must be determined as of which personal data may be provided without consent of the person, information on whom is to be provided. By that, a point in time is meant as of which the requested personal data become the published data and may be provided as such thereon. This follows from the provisions of Article 23(3) and (4) of Act 491/2001 Coll., on Elections to the Municipal Councils and on Amendments to Some Other Acts, as subsequently amended (hereinafter "the Municipal Councils Elections Act").
The registration authority shall decide, as per Article 23(3) of the foregoing act, within 48 days prior to the date of the municipal council elections, on registration of the list of candidates that must satisfy the requirements as per Article 23(4) of that act. The authority shall concurrently post its decision on its official board, setting out the date of posting. As provided by Article 23(7) of the Municipal Councils Elections Act, registration is also a precondition to printing of ballots. This procedure is further in accordance with the provision of Article 11(1)(b) of the Free Access to Information Act, according to which “a liable entity may limit provision of information should that be a new piece of information that has originated at preparation of the decision by the liable entity, unless provided otherwise by law; the foregoing shall apply only until the point in time at which such preparation is terminated by a decision”.
Publication of the decision on registration of the list of candidates is carried out according to the applicable legal provisions as it satisfies the provision of Article 5(2)(a) of the Personal Data Protection Act that enables a controller to process (and, therefore, also publish), in accordance with the provision of Article 4(e) of the Personal Data Protection Act, personal data without consent of the data subject, in cases where the controller is carrying out processing which is essential to comply with legal obligation of the controller.
The Office for Personal Data Protection holds the opinion that the very date of posting is the date as of which the data may be already considered published in the meaning of the provision of Article 4(l) of the Personal Data Protection Act, and, that information on the candidates set out in the candidate list may be provided as of the same date. In provision of information, relevant authorities must satisfy relevant provisions of the Personal Data Protection Act providing e.g. the scope of information provided. The authorities should, in information provision, base themselves on the scope of information contained in the ballot. According to the provision of Article 25(3) of the Municipal Councils Elections Act, a ballot shall include the following data on the candidate: first name, family name, age, section of the municipality or municipality of the candidate's permanent domicile registration, name of the political party or political movement of which the candidate is a member, or, information that the candidate has no party membership.
Prior to publication of the decision on registration of the list of candidates, applicants may ask for information directly political parties or candidates. The registration authorities, as we note above, may, during the above defined period of time, provide information only upon consent granted to them by the candidate personally and in the scope to which the candidate has given his consent. Such consent, however, must satisfy all requirements provided by the Personal Data Protection Act, while the registration authority, being a personal data controller, must comply also with further requirements provided by the Personal Data Protection Act with respect to the personal data controllers.
Provisions of the above regulations mean that information on candidates may be provided only after the decision on registration of the list of candidates and after publication of that decision, in accordance with specific legal provisions, i.e. the Municipal Councils Elections Act.
Note: The above document is available at the web pages of the Office for Personal Data Protection at uoou.aspx?menu=22&lang=en
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