recent translations summaries

2022. July 14.

Decision 15/2022 (VII. 14.) AB on establishing a violation of the Fundamental Law

Decision number: IV/01365/2016
Subject of the case:

Constitutional complaint aimed at establishing the lack of conformity with the Fundamental Law and annulling Section 159/A of the Act C of 2003 on Electronic Communications (protection of personal data)

The Constitutional Court, acting ex officio, found that the Parliament had caused an infringement of the Fundamental Law by its failure to act in accordance with section 157 (2), (3) and (10) and section 159/A of the Act C of 2003 on Electronic Communications, which is not in line with the constitutional requirements of the right to privacy and the right to the protection of personal data under Article VI of the Fundamental Law. The Constitutional Court, therefore, called upon the Parliament to comply with its legislative duty by 31 December 2022. In the case underlying the proceedings, the petitioner (the plaintiff) had a mobile phone subscription contract with the respondent. The petitioner made a request to the respondent to disclose his personal data to him and then to delete it, and to inform him to whom he had given access and to which data. In its reply letter, the service provider informed the petitioner that it could not disclose or delete his data on the basis of the contested statutory provision. In his action, the petitioner asked the court to order the respondent to disclose and delete the requested data. Along with suspending the hearing, the court had initiated proceedings before the Constitutional Court, but the Constitutional Court rejected the court’s initiative, as it was not the provision challenged by the judge that prevented the plaintiff’s request from being granted, but other provisions of the law and related provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. The court subsequently dismissed the petitioner’s action. In the petitioner’s view, the contested provision of the law infringes the right to privacy and the right to the protection of personal data. In its decision, the Constitutional Court found that the contested statutory provision indeed defines too broadly the procedure, the purpose and the scope of the data that can be requested by those entitled to request data under a specific Act of the Parliament. The authorisation to transfer data is therefore too general, abstract and lacks the specificity to link and adapt the processing to its purpose. The plenary session of the Constitutional Court concluded that the law-maker has a duty to make data collection and the provision of data compatible with the constitutional criteria of fundamental rights limitation by incorporating into the legislation the appropriate safeguards that are currently lacking, and therefore called on the Parliament to fulfil its legislative duty.