Speech of Freedom v Privacy of Private Life

17 January 2020

The Turkish Data Protection Authority (“Authority” or “DPA) published the summary of the decision numbered 2019/372, dated 9.12.2019 which held upon the complaint, on its website on 15.01.2020. 

The complaint conducted to the Authority includes;

  • The Gazette published the column related with the complainant’s son that the son resigned his job because his father is cancer,
  • The situation herein is that the statement of health which is one of the sensitive data has been published by the Gazette without data subject’s (prior-explicit) consent,
  • The person herein had not been unaware of his situation until this date because the situation may have depressed him so that his family have not told him his health condition,
  • The person herein has been informed of his situation through the column mentioned above, therefore family breakdown is in question right now and he has rejected the treatment of cancer.

As a result of the enquiry made by the Authority, it was held that the matter herein cannot be held under article 28 of the Law numbered 6698[1] which regulates the exceptions of the law (“Processing of personal data for the purposes of art, history, and literature or science, or within the scope of freedom of expression, provided that national defence, national security, public safety, public order, economic safety, privacy of personal life or personal rights are not violated”).

In this context, The Authority fined the Gazette 125.000 TL on the ground of that the Gazette breached the law by publishing the sensitive data of the person herein in the column without “taking all necessary technical and organizational measures for providing an appropriate level of security” which is regulated under article 12 of the Law.

The full text of the decision (in Turkish) can be reached here.

Should you have any queries and/or remarks, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

  Kind regards,

Zumbul Attorneys-at-Law

[1] The Turkish Personal Data Protection Law no. 6698 enacted on 24/3/2016 | Published in the Official Gazette dated 7/4/2016 no. 29677