Additional statements regarding the Rise Project case
Regarding the erroneous information circulated in the public space and the reactions of certain factors, we state the following:
Following a notice from a natural person who reported possible violations of personal data protection law through the Rise Project’s posts in the public domain, pursuant to the legal competences of the National Supervisory Authority to monitor and control, information on the reported situation was requested from that data controller.
In the notification received it is mentioned that a multitude of personal data of certain private and public persons were posted by Rise Project in the online environment, by requesting the verification of compliance with the legal provisions in force in the field of personal data processing.
In this context, we highlight that, as the article published by Rise Project itself indicated the source of their obtaining, namely “a suitcase with essential information (...) was found in the rural area of Teleorman”, we appreciate that the information requested by the supervisory authority is not likely to violate the professional secrecy of journalists.
At the same time, we point out that the European Court of Human Rights ascertained the infringement of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to respect for private and family life) in the Alkaya Case against Turkey (application No. 42811/06) by a national newspaper. The case had been about the disclosure by the press of the address of the home of an actress in Turkey whose apartment had been robbed.
The ECHR ruled that the option of housing is a fundamental private matter and the free exercise of this choice is an integral part of the sphere of personal autonomy protected by Article 8 of the Convention.
The ECHR thus had to determine whether the state administered a fair balance between the applicant’s right to the protection of her private life and the right of journalists to an everyday freedom of expression protected by Article 10 of the Convention and in the pronounced ruling found the violation of the private life of the person concerned (violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights).
In this context, we mention that at present there is no law of the press in force in Romania.
As such, we reiterate the issues highlighted in the press release dated the 9th of November 2018, posted on the ANSPDCP website (http://www.dataprotection.ro/index.jsp?page=Clarificari_referitoare_la_sesizarea_primita_de_ANSPDCP_in_cazul_Rise_Project&lang=en), in the sense that:
The request for information addressed to the Rise Project was carried out under the control powers of our institution, set out in Article 57 (1) letters f) and h) and Article 58 (1) and (2) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679, Article 141 of the Law no. 102/2005, as subsequently amended and supplemented, by Law no. 190/2018, also referring to the need to ensure the balance between the right to protection of personal data and the right to freedom of expression (including processing for journalistic purposes), provided by Article 85 of GDPR, as well as the ECHR jurisprudence in the field.
The Supervisory Authority, having regard to its role as defender of the right to privacy and the right to the protection of personal data, has consistently expressed and acted since its set up, in 2005, in order to ensure a balance between the right to the protection of personal data, the freedom of expression and the right to information.
In this context, the Supervisory Authority states firmly that its actions fall exclusively within the legal competences, without prejudice to the freedom of the press and without interfering in any way with the exercise of the legal powers and attributions of other state institutions.