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Czech Case law, News

Publishing pictures of a thief stealing electrical bicycle on Facebook is according to the Supreme Administrative Court illegal

The Supreme Administrative Court (Nejvyssi spravni soud) ruled in July 2016 that Office for Personal Data Protection did not fail issuing the fine for breach of data protection to an owner of shop for posting an image of the burglar on Facebook. The reason he posted the camera screenshot was to identify the thief what was successful.

The Court of the first instance applied the proportionality test between a right of the owner on protection of his property and the right of offender on protection of his personal data (image and personal right) and stated that it would be against the sense and aim of the law if the offender will gain protection and the victim will be fined and therefore considered the fine as illegal. However, the Supreme Court had a different view and stated there is no conflict of rights. The right on protection of property is according to the Court protected enough by installing the camera system according to the rules. Any further handling of the personal data gathered from the camera system without consent of the data subject cannot be justified.

The owner stated the the person who has stolen the electrical bicycle had to know that acts against the law and commits crime. He knowingly acted against law and was aware of the visible declaration that the premises are electronically monitored. He was aware that he was filmed, therefore could presume that the owner will try to find out his identity. The publication led to his identification.

The Office for Personal Data Protection however stated that searching for perpetrators is in a competence of the prosecuting authorities in democratic state. Therefore, using the data gathered from he camera system could have been used in aim of finding the thief only by handing the image and camera record to police but cannot do it by himself.

The owner will file a constitutional complaint.

Full judgment available in Czech here:  http://www.nssoud.cz/files/SOUDNI_VYKON/2015/0118_3As__1500034_20160610081446_prevedeno.pdf



About ondrejovae

Czech Attorney/Barrister located in Prague with specialization in media law and protection of personal rights


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