The ECJ holds that legal analysis contained in an administrative document is not personal data

European Court of Justice — Joined cases C-141/12 and C-372/12, Judgment of 17 July 2014


Data Protection – Directive 95/46/EC and definition of personal data

The European Court of Justice provided further directions on the definition of personal data for the purposes of EU law. The ECJ ruled that the legal analysis contained in an administrative document as part of an internal process is not personal data.

In YS, M, and S v Minister for Immigratie, Integratie en Asiel, a Netherlands Court requested a preliminary ruling before the European Court of Justice on, among other things, the interpretation of Articles 2(a) of Directive 95/46/.

From the ruling:

“Article 2(a) of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data must be interpreted as meaning that the data relating to an applicant for a residence permit contained in an administrative document, such as the ‘minute’ at issue in the main proceedings, setting out the grounds that the case officer puts forward in support of the draft decision which he is responsible for drawing up in the context of the procedure prior to the adoption of a decision concerning the application for such a permit and, where relevant, the data in the legal analysis contained in that document, are ‘personal data’ within the meaning of that provision, whereas, by contrast, that analysis cannot in itself be so classified”.

The decision is also notable as it clarifies the form in which personal data may be provided upon data subject request. According to the ruling, the right of access is fulfilled where the data subject is in possession

“of a full summary of those data in an intelligible form, that is to say a form which allows that applicant to become aware of those data and to check that they are accurate and processed in compliance with that directive, so that he may, where relevant, exercise the rights conferred on him by that directive”.

Applicable Law: Directive 95/46/EC

The full text of the judgments is available at: http://curia.europa…

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