Criminal proceedings against Lindqvist: ECJ 6 Nov 2003

Mrs Lindqvist had set up an internet site for her local parish containing information about some of her colleagues in the parish. She gave names, jobs, hobbies and in one case some of the person’s employment and medical details. The Court decided that she had processed the personal data of her colleagues.
Questions were referred to the Court as to whether the Directive was compatible with the general principles of freedom of expression and whether national rules might be introduced that were more restrictive than the Community provisions. As to the first point, the court said that it was at the stage of the application at national level of the legislation implementing the Directive in individual cases that a balance must be found between the rights and interests involved. The courts of the member states had to make sure, however, that they did not rely on an interpretation which would be in conflict with the fundamental principles protected by the Community legal order: ‘It is true that Directive 95/46 allows the member states a margin for manoeuvre in certain areas and authorises them to maintain or introduce particular rules for specific situations, as a large number of its provisions demonstrate. However, such possibilities must be made use of in the manner provided for by Directive 95/46 and in accordance with its objective of maintaining a balance between the free movement of personal data and the protection of private life.
On the other hand, nothing prevents a member state from extending the scope of the national legislation implementing the provisions of Directive 95/46 to areas not included within the scope thereof, provided that no other provision of Community law precludes it.’
‘personal data’ covered the name of a person or identification of him by some other means, for instance by giving his telephone number or information regarding his working conditions or hobbies. The ‘provisions [of the Directive] are necessarily relatively general since it has to be applied to a large number of very different situations . . the Directive quite properly includes rules with a degree of flexibility and, in many instances, leaves to the Member States the task of deciding the details or choosing between options.’

Jann P
[2004] All ER (EC) 561, Times 13-Nov-2003, [2003] EUECJ C-101/01, [2004] 2 WLR 1385, [2004] Info TLR 1, ECLI:EU:C:2003:596, [2004] QB 1014, [2003] ECR I-12971, [2004] CEC 117, [2004] 1 CMLR 20, C-101/01
Council Directive 95/46/EC on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data
Cited by:
CitedParkwood Leisure Ltd v Alemo-Herron and Others SC 15-Jun-2011
The claimants had been employed by a local authority and then transferred to the respondents. They had had the benefit that their terms of employment were subject to collective agreement. The respondent was not part of the negotiation of later . .
CitedDowds v Regina CACzD 22-Feb-2012
The defendant appealed against his conviction for murder, saying that he should have been allowed to rely on a plea of diminished responsibility given the changes to section 2 of the 1957 Act introduced in 2009. He said that his alcoholism should . .
CitedCommission v Bavarian Lager ECJ 29-Jun-2010
ECJ Appeal – Access to the documents of the institutions – Document concerning a meeting held in the context of a procedure for failure to fulfil obligations -Protection of personal data – Regulation (EC) No . .
CitedThe Information Commissioner v The FSA and Edem UTAA 11-Dec-2012
Information rights – Data protection – whether a person’s name constitutes personal data. As the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (made on 16 April 2012 under reference EA/2011/0132) involved the making of an error in point of law, it is SET . .
CitedStannard (T/A Wyvern Tyres) v Gore CA 4-Oct-2012
The defendant, now appellant, ran a business involving the storage of tyres. The claimant neighbour’s own business next door was severely damaged in a fire of the tyres escaping onto his property. The court had found him liable in strict liability . .
CitedEdem v The Information Commissioner and Another CA 7-Feb-2014
The claimant sought disclosure of the names of officials of the Financial Services Authority who had dealt with his complaint. He now appealed against reversal of an order that they be disclosed.
Held: The appeal failed. The court approved the . .
CitedGoogle Spain Sl v Agencia Espanola De Proteccion De Datos (AEPD), Gonzalez ECJ 13-May-2014
Internet Search Engine – Name Removal
ECJ Grand Chamber – Personal data – Protection of individuals with regard to the processing of such data – Directive 95/46/EC – Articles 2, 4, 12 and 14 – Material and territorial scope – Internet search engines . .
CitedMontgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board SC 11-Mar-2015
Change in Doctors’ Information Obligations
The pursuer claimed that her obstetrician had been negligent, after her son suffered severe injury at birth. The baby faced a birth with shoulder dystocia – the inability of the shoulders to pass through the pelvis. The consultant considered that a . .
CitedIn Re N (Children) SC 13-Apr-2016
The Court considered whether the future of two little girls, aged four and two years, should be decided by the courts of this country or by the authorities in Hungary. Both children were born in England and lived all their lives here. But their . .
CitedNT 1 and NT 2 v Google Llc QBD 13-Apr-2018
Right to be Forgotten is not absolute
The two claimants separately had criminal convictions from years before. They objected to the defendant indexing third party web pages which included personal data in the form of information about those convictions, which were now spent. The claims . .
CitedThe Christian Institute and Others v The Lord Advocate SC 28-Jul-2016
(Scotland) By the 2014 Act, the Scottish Parliament had provided that each child should have a named person to monitor that child’s needs, with information about him or her shared as necessary. The Institute objected that the imposed obligation to . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Information, Human Rights

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.187775