Personal data protection, case II SA/Wa 297/09

October 21st, 2009, Tomasz Rychlicki

An individual had a telecommunications services agreement with a Company, but failed to comply with the payment and the Company has assigned the claim to another entity. The debtor requested by the assignee filed a complaint to the Inspector General for Personal Data Protection. It found that the operation of the company not been in conflict with the provisions of the Polish Act of 29 August 1997 on the Protection of Personal Data – PPD – (in Polish: Ustawa o ochronie danych osobowych), unified text published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) of 6 July 2002, No. 101, item 926, with subsequent amendments. The debtor filed a complaint against this decision.

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw in its judgment of 26 August 2009 case file II SA/Wa 297/09 held that the transfer of the debt is inseparably connected with the transfer of personal data of the debtor. Such situation is in accordance with the provisions of Article 509 § 2 of the Civil Code – CC – (in Polish: Kodeks Cywilny) of 23 April 1964, published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No. 16, item 93, with subsequent amendments.

Article 509. § 1. The creditor may, without the debtor’s consent, transfer the receivable debt upon a third party (assignment) unless that would be at variance with statutory law, a contractual stipulation, or the nature of the obligation.
§ 2. Together with the receivable debt, the rights connected therewith shall pass to the acquirer, in particular, the claim for the interest in arrear.

All related rights together with the debt claim are transferred to the acquirer, and thus the right to dispose of the debtor’s personal information in order to implement the debt. The acquirer becomes autonomous possessor of the debtor’s personal data. The acquirer becomes the controller of personal data and processes personal information for its own account and risk. The acquirer enjoys the same rights and obligations relating to the processing of personal data as the previous controller.

See also “Polish regulations on personal data protection” and “Polish case law on personal data protection“.