ECJ Protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data – Directive 95/46/EC – Protection of private life – Disclosure of data on the income of employees of bodies subject to control by the Rechnungshof
Austrian law required public bodies subject to control by the Court of Auditors to report to it the names, salaries and pensions above a certain level paid to their employees and pensioners. The Court of Auditors would then make a report to Parliament which would be made public, the object being to exert pressure on public bodies to keep remuneration within reasonable limits. The Court of Auditors brought proceedings against Austrian radio and other bodies who refused to provide the information and some of the individuals involved brought proceedings contesting the compatibility of the legislation with their fundamental rights and with the Directive. A principal issue was whether publishing these data fell within article 7(c) or (e).
Held: The European Court of Justice stated that ‘the provisions of Directive 95/46, in so far as they govern the processing of personal data likely to infringe fundamental freedoms, in particular the right to privacy, must necessarily be interpreted in the light of fundamental rights, which, according to settled case law, form an integral part of the general principles of law whose observance the Court ensures.’
For an employer to publish the names and incomes of employees to a third party was an interference with the right to respect for private life, protected by article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (para 74), but that it might be justified if it was both necessary for and appropriate to the aim of keeping salaries within reasonable limits, that being for the national courts to determine (para 90). But if the national legislation was incompatible with article 8, then it was also incapable of satisfying the requirements of proportionality in article 7(c) or (e) of Directive 95/46.
GC Rodriguez Iglesias, P
C-465/00,  EUECJ C-465/00
See Also – Rechnungshof v Osterreichischer Rundfunk and Others (Approximation Of Laws) ECJ 20-May-2003
ECJ Protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data – Directive 95/46/EC – Protection of private life – Disclosure of data on the income of employees of bodies subject to control by the . .
Cited – South Lanarkshire Council v The Scottish Information Commissioner SC 29-Jul-2013
Commissioner’s Approach not in Breach
In May 2010, a Mr Irvine made requests under the 2002 Act for information from South Lanarkshire Council. He wanted to know how many of their employees in a particular post were placed at 10 particular points on the Council’s pay scales. His . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 07 June 2022; Ref: scu.182713