Personal data protection, case I OSK 756/09

July 11th, 2010, Tomasz Rychlicki

A former entrepreneur (natural person) requested a telecommunications company to remove his personal data that were used for marketing purposes. The company did not want to take into account the above-mentioned demands, arguing that the rights provided in Article 33 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, are not afforded for persons who perform or performed professional business activity (entrepreneurs).

Article 33
1. At the request of the data subject, within the period of 30 days, the controller shall be obliged to notify the data subject about his/her rights, and provide him/her with the information referred to in Article 32 paragraph 1 point 1-5a as regards his/her personal data, and in particular specify in an intelligible form:
1) the category of personal data contained in the file,
2) the means of data collection,
3) the purpose and the scope of data processing,
4) the recipients of the data and the scope of access they have been granted.
2. At the request of the data subject, the information referred to in paragraph 1 shall be given in writing.

The Supreme Administrative Court in its judgment of 15 March 2010 case file I OSK 756/09 held that provisions of Article 6 of the PPD does not differentiate the rights of individuals, depending on whether they are performing business activity or not. In this situation, there was no reason to exclude information about natural persons conducting business/economic activity from the protection guaranteed by the PPD.

Article 6
1. Within the meaning of the Act personal data shall mean any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.
2. An identifiable person is the one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identification number or to one or more factors specific to his/her physical, physiological, mental, economic, cultural or social identity.
3. A piece of information shall not be regarded as identifying where the identification requires an unreasonable amount of time, cost and manpower.

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