“Sensitive Data”: What it’s mean?

Various national and foreign academics approached to define “personal data” over the last decades, grounding their views upon doctrine, legislation or case law. However, the notion of “sensitive data”, which could be spotted in EU legislation and in the court practice of various national and international courts (for instance, such term is utilized in over a dozen of the ECtHR judgments) has not received a uniform interpretation: for which reasons, and why the plaintiff’s data, who sues defendant for their disclosure, theft or forgery, are sensitive? The issue of the types of data that are expected to be deemed as “sensitive”, and for which reasons such data necessitate a higher degree of confidence, than “ordinary” data? Yes, negative consequences may seem apparent for the plaintiff, if disclosed, but is ephemeral without real instances in the case law of national courts and international human rights courts. Therefore, the aim of the paper is dictated by the demand to define what are “sensitive data”, how is this notion utilized by courts in their respective jurisprudence, and what categories of data should belong to them, and what negative consequences could the plaintiff face, once the said data are disclosed, improperly maintained, forged or stolen? Could the plaintiff be discharged from work owing to the disclosure of his HIV-positive status? Could plaintiff be deprived from taking a loan, or being employed at a state authority because of his criminal past? Could the plaintiff never receive an advocate’s license owing to his political views? The case-law indicates it’s possible. The disclosure of “sensitive data”, which causes various negative consequences for the plaintiff’s life and career in the future, as well as inadequate maintenance of “sensitive data”, causes a multitude of law suites, which is well illustrated in the jurisprudence of national courts and international human rights courts. The given paper deals with the most significant judgments from the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights as well as separate cases from the worldwide jurisprudence, especially from Germany, United States, Canada and Sweden. As it is illustrated in the paper, the jurisprudence of the courts has substantially enlarged the scope of sensitive data within the few last decades.

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#right_to_privacy  #medical_secrecy #banking_secrecy #EUlaw #criminalrecords



By Anatoliy Lytvynenko