Article 10
Processing of personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences

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(19)  The protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, including the safeguarding against and the prevention of threats to public security and the free movement of such data, is the subject of a specific Union legal act. This Regulation should not, therefore, apply to processing activities for those purposes. However, personal data processed by public authorities under this Regulation should, when used for those purposes, be governed by a more specific Union legal act, namely Directive (EU) 2016/680 of the European Parliament and of the Council (7). Member States may entrust competent authorities within the meaning of Directive (EU) 2016/680 with tasks which are not necessarily carried out for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, including the safeguarding against and prevention of threats to public security, so that the processing of personal data for those other purposes, in so far as it is within the scope of Union law, falls within the scope of this Regulation.

With regard to the processing of personal data by those competent authorities for purposes falling within scope of this Regulation, Member States should be able to maintain or introduce more specific provisions to adapt the application of the rules of this Regulation. Such provisions may determine more precisely specific requirements for the processing of personal data by those competent authorities for those other purposes, taking into account the constitutional, organisational and administrative structure of the respective Member State. When the processing of personal data by private bodies falls within the scope of this Regulation, this Regulation should provide for the possibility for Member States under specific conditions to restrict by law certain obligations and rights when such a restriction constitutes a necessary and proportionate measure in a democratic society to safeguard specific important interests including public security and the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, including the safeguarding against and the prevention of threats to public security. This is relevant for instance in the framework of anti-money laundering or the activities of forensic laboratories.

There is no recital in the Directive related to article 10.

The GDPR

Instead, the Regulation introduces a specific provision for data processing on convictions for criminal offenses or security measures and proceeds with a clarification of that provision, the initial version of which was confusing (Article 10).

The data processing for these data can be performed only if:

- the data processing takes place under the control of official authority;

- the data processing is authorised by Union or Member State law providing for appropriate safeguards for the rights and freedoms of data subjects.

Unlike the text of the Directive, the national law may not derogate from these conditions.

Finally, the comprehensive centralization of criminal convictions may be carried out only under the control of the official authority.

The Directive

The Directive provided for a derogation from the prohibition to process sensitive data to the processing of data relating to offences, criminal convictions or security measures (Article 8 (5), provided that they are conducted under the supervision of the public authority or that suitable specific safeguards are provided under national law.

Paragraph 5 in fine of Article 8 of the Directive specified that a file containing exhaustively all the criminal convictions may be kept only under the control of the official authority.

Potential issues

Differences can occur between the Member States with respect to the data processing related to convictions or criminal offences or security measures as far as the conditions of data processing are determined in the national law (terms of official authority controls or specific legislative authorization).

CJEU caselaw

C-141/12 ; C-372/12 (17 july 2014)

1.      Article 2(a) of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data must be interpreted as meaning that the data relating to an applicant for a residence permit contained in an administrative document, such as the ‘minute’ at issue in the main proceedings, setting out the grounds that the case officer puts forward in support of the draft decision which he is responsible for drawing up in the context of the procedure prior to the adoption of a decision concerning the application for such a permit and, where relevant, the data in the legal analysis contained in that document, are ‘personal data’ within the meaning of that provision, whereas, by contrast, that analysis cannot in itself be so classified.

2.      Article 12(a) of Directive 95/46 and Article 8(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union must be interpreted as meaning that an applicant for a residence permit has a right of access to all personal data concerning him which are processed by the national administrative authorities within the meaning of Article 2(b) of that directive. For that right to be complied with, it is sufficient that the applicant be in possession of a full summary of those data in an intelligible form, that is to say a form which allows that applicant to become aware of those data and to check that they are accurate and processed in compliance with that directive, so that he may, where relevant, exercise the rights conferred on him by that directive.

3.      Article 41(2)(b) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union must be interpreted as meaning that the applicant for a residence permit cannot rely on that provision against the national authorities.

Opinion of Advocate general

Judgment of the Court

Regulation
1e 2e

Art. 10

Processing of personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences or related security measures based on Article 6(1) shall be carried out only under the control of official authority or when the processing is authorised by Union or Member State law providing for appropriate safeguards for the rights and freedoms of data subjects. Any comprehensive register of criminal convictions shall be kept only under the control of official authority.

1st proposal close

Art. 9

1. The processing of personal data, revealing race or ethnic origin, political opinions, religion or beliefs, trade-union membership, and the processing of genetic data or data concerning health or sex life or criminal convictions or related security measures shall be prohibited.

2. Paragraph 1 shall not apply where:

(a)     the data subject has given consent to the processing of those personal data, subject to the conditions laid down in Articles 7 and 8, except where Union law or Member State law provide that the prohibition referred to in paragraph 1 may not be lifted by the data subject; or

(b)     processing is necessary for the purposes of carrying out the obligations and exercising specific rights of the controller in the field of employment law in so far as it is authorised by Union law or Member State law providing for adequate safeguards; or

(c)     processing is necessary to protect the vital interests of the data subject or of another person where the data subject is physically or legally incapable of giving consent; or

(d)     processing is carried out in the course of its legitimate activities with appropriate safeguards by a foundation, association or any other non-profit-seeking body with a political, philosophical, religious or trade-union aim and on condition that the processing relates solely to the members or to former members of the body or to persons who have regular contact with it in connection with its purposes and that the data are not disclosed outside that body without the consent of the data subjects; or

(e)     the processing relates to personal data which are manifestly made public by the data subject; or

(f)      processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims; or

(g)     processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest, on the basis of Union law, or Member State law which shall provide for suitable measures to safeguard the data subject's legitimate interests; or

(h)     processing of data concerning health is necessary for health purposes and subject to the conditions and safeguards referred to in Article 81; or

(i)      processing is necessary for historical, statistical or scientific research purposes subject to the conditions and safeguards referred to in Article 83; or

(j)      processing of data relating to criminal convictions or related security measures is carried out either under the control of official authority or when the processing is necessary for compliance with a legal or regulatory obligation to which a controller is subject, or for the performance of a task carried out for important public interest reasons, and in so far as authorised by Union law or Member State law providing for adequate safeguards.A complete register of criminal convictions shall be kept only under the control of official authority.

3. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 86 for the purpose of further specifying the criteria, conditions and appropriate safeguards for the processing of the special categories of personal data referred to in paragraph 1 and the exemptions laid down in paragraph 2.

2nd proposal close

Art. 9a

Processing of data relating to criminal convictions and offences or related security measures based on Article 6(1) may only be carried out either under the control of official authority (...) or when the processing is (...) authorised by Union law or Member State law providing for adequate safeguards for the rights and freedoms of data subjects. A complete register of criminal convictions may be kept only under the control of official authority.

Directive close

Art. 8

1. Member States shall prohibit the processing of personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade-union membership, and the processing of data concerning health or sex life.

2. Paragraph 1 shall not apply where:

(…)

5. Processing of data relating to offences, criminal convictions or security measures may be carried out only under the control of official authority, or if suitable specific safeguards are provided under national law, subject to derogations which may be granted by the Member State under national provisions providing suitable specific safeguards. However, a complete register of criminal convictions may be kept only under the control of official authority.

Schedule 3 -  Conditions relevant for purposes of the first principle: processing of sensitive personal data

5. The information contained in the personal data has been made public as a result of steps deliberately taken       by the data subject.

6. The processing—

(a) is necessary for the purpose of, or in connection with, any legal proceedings (including prospective legal          proceedings),

(b) is necessary for the purpose of obtaining legal advice, or

(c) is otherwise necessary for the purposes of establishing, exercising or defending legal rights.

7. (1) The processing is necessary—

(a) for the administration of justice,

(b) for the exercise of any functions conferred on any person by or under an enactment, or

(c) for the exercise of any functions of the Crown, a Minister of the Crown or a government department.

(2) The [F3 Secretary of State] may by order—

(a) exclude the application of sub-paragraph (1) in such cases as may be specified, or

(b) provide that, in such cases as may be specified, the condition in sub-paragraph (1) is not to be regarded          as satisfied unless such further conditions as may be specified in the order are also satisfied.

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