Are personal data always personal? Case T-557/20 SRB v. EDPS or when the qualification of data depends on who holds them - Inria - Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies du numérique Access content directly
Scientific Blog Post Year : 2023

Are personal data always personal? Case T-557/20 SRB v. EDPS or when the qualification of data depends on who holds them

Abstract

In case T‑557/20 Single Resolution Board v. EDPS, the General Court had to settle an issue related to the extent of the definition of ‘personal data’ under Article 3 (1) of Regulation 2018/1725 (hereafter ‘EUDPR’). This case takes place in the context of the adoption of a resolution scheme, involving the Single Resolution Board (SRB), in its capacity of Banking Union resolution authority, and a Spanish bank called Banco Popular. During the process of resolution, the SRB invited the shareholders to submit comments in order to assess whether they should be given compensation. To examine these comments, the SRB classified them and attributed them an alphanumeric code. Some comments were sent to an independent valuer, Deloitte, to help complete the assessment. Following these events, five shareholders filed a complaint before the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) on the ground that they had not been informed of their personal data being transferred to a third-party. Without digging into too much detail, the EDPS agreed with the complainants that their personal data had been processed by Deloitte while they had not been informed of any transfer of their data by the SRB. SRB, for its part, claimed that data processed by Deloitte were not personal data. Basically, the General Court had to determine whether the comments held by Deloitte could be considered personal data. To summarise the outcome of this case, the Court held that the transfer of comments which were attributed an alphanumeric code could not necessarily be considered as a transfer of personal data. Instead, it must be carefully assessed whether the data recipient is reasonably able to re-identify data subjects from the pseudonymised comments. The Court thus adopted a relative approach of what constitutes ‘personal data’ which, in our opinion, runs the risk of undermining the level of protection of personal data within the EU and the protection of personal data of EU citizens more globally.

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Law
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Dates and versions

hal-04292464 , version 1 (22-11-2023)

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  • HAL Id : hal-04292464 , version 1

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Alexandre Lodie. Are personal data always personal? Case T-557/20 SRB v. EDPS or when the qualification of data depends on who holds them. 2023. ⟨hal-04292464⟩
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