EIT:n suuri jaosto: Verovelallisten listan julkaiseminen loukkasi yksityisyyttä

10.3.2023 | Oikeusuutiset

Markku Fredman

Systematic publishing of tax debtors’ personal data in Hungary breached the Convention

In Grand Chamber judgment in the case of L.B. v. Hungary (application no. 36345/16) the European Court of Human Rights held, by 15 votes to 2, that there had been:

a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life and the home) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The case concerned the Hungarian legislative policy of publishing the personal data of taxpayers who were in debt. The applicant complained in particular that his name and home address had been published on a list of “major tax debtors” on the tax authorities’ website under a 2006 amendment to the relevant tax legislation.

The Court found that the amended publication scheme had been systematic, without any weighing up of the public interest in ensuring tax discipline against the individual’s privacy rights.

In particular, Parliament had not assessed the previous publication schemes and their impact on taxpayers or reflected as to what the additional value would be of the 2006 amended scheme. Moreover, little or no consideration had been given to data protection, the risk of misuse by the general public of a tax debtor’s home address, or the worldwide reach of Internet.

The Court was not therefore satisfied, notwithstanding the respondent State’s wide discretion to decide on such matters, that the Hungarian legislature’s reasons for enacting the amended publication scheme, although relevant, had been sufficient to show that the interference with the applicant’s rights had been “necessary in a democratic society”.

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