Article 23
Restrictions

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(8) Where this Regulation provides for specifications or restrictions of its rules by Member State law, Member States may, as far as necessary for coherence and for making the national provisions comprehensible to the persons to whom they apply, incorporate elements of this Regulation into their national law.

(73) Restrictions concerning specific principles and the rights of information, access to and rectification or erasure of personal data, the right to data portability, the right to object, decisions based on profiling, as well as the communication of a personal data breach to a data subject and certain related obligations of the controllers may be imposed by Union or Member State law, as far as necessary and proportionate in a democratic society to safeguard public security, including the protection of human life especially in response to natural or manmade disasters, the prevention, investigation and prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, including the safeguarding against and the prevention of threats to public security, or of breaches of ethics for regulated professions, other important objectives of general public interest of the Union or of a Member State, in particular an important economic or financial interest of the Union or of a Member State, the keeping of public registers kept for reasons of general public interest, further processing of archived personal data to provide specific information related to the political behaviour under former totalitarian state regimes or the protection of the data subject or the rights and freedoms of others, including social protection, public health and humanitarian purposes. Those restrictions should be in accordance with the requirements set out in the Charter and in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

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(43) Whereas restrictions on the rights of access and information and on certain obligations of the controller may similarly be imposed by Member States in so far as they are necessary to safeguard, for example, national security, defence, public safety, or important economic or financial interests of a Member State or the Union, as well as criminal investigations and prosecutions and action in respect of breaches of ethics in the regulated professions; whereas the list of exceptions and limitations should include the tasks of monitoring, inspection or regulation necessary in the three last-mentioned areas concerning public security, economic or financial interests and crime prevention; whereas the listing of tasks in these three areas does not affect the legitimacy of exceptions or restrictions for reasons of State security or defence;

(44) Whereas Member States may also be led, by virtue of the provisions of Community law, to derogate from the provisions of this Directive concerning the right of access, the obligation to inform individuals, and the quality of data, in order to secure certain of the purposes referred to above;

The GDPR

Article 23 of the Regulation being directly inspired by Article 13 of the Directive states that the Member States may maintain or introduce statutory restrictions to the data subject rights under Articles 12 to 22 and Article 34 relating to the notification to the data subject about a breach of personal data and the principles set out in Article 5, provided that those restrictions comply with the essence of the fundamental rights and freedoms and is a necessary and proportionate measure in a democratic society to safeguard certain interests that are listed exhaustively.

Compared to the Directive, there is an extension of these interests including protection against threats to public safety and the prevention of these, important objectives of public interests of the Union or a Member State including an economic or financial interest of the Union or of a Member State, including monetary, budgetary and fiscal areas, public health and social security, or even the protection of the independence of justice and of judicial proceedings or to enable the execution of applications of civil law.

Article 23 in fine provides however that the legislative restrictions introduced by the Member States should contain many specific provisions relating to purposes, categories of processing and personal data, the extent of the introduced restrictions, or also to the risks to the rights and freedoms of individuals and the right of the data subject to be informed about such restrictions.

The Directive

Under the Directive (Art. 13), the Member States were already allowed to limit the scope of the rights and obligations provided for in Article 6 on the quality of the data; in Articles 10 and 11 relating to the information to be provided to the data subject; Article 12 on the right to object and article 21 on the publicizing of processing. 

However such limitations are measures necessary for the implementation of exhaustively listed interests, for example, for ensuring the national security, defence, public security or prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of criminal offences or of breaches of ethics in the case of the regulated professions.

Potential issues

The possibilities of restrictions being extended, the room for maneuvering of the states increases, resulting in a risk of divergence of the protection systems, at the expense of the goal of harmonization of the new regulations. It is true that in return, the states will have to adapt them by more guarantees for the people, which can then be controlled by the Court of Justice.

CJEU caselaw

C-473/12 (7 november 2013)

Article 13(1) 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 Member States have no obligation, but have the option, to transpose into their national law one or more of the exceptions which it lays down to the obligation to inform data subjects of the processing of their personal data.

The activity of a private detective acting for a professional body in order to investigate breaches of ethics of a regulated profession, in this case that of estate agent, is covered by the exception in Article 13(1)(d) of Directive 95/46.

Judgment of the Court

C-201/14 (1 october 2015)

Articles 10, 11 and 13 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 precluding national measures, such as those at issue in the main proceedings, which allow a public administrative body of a Member State to transfer personal data to another public administrative body and their subsequent processing, without the data subjects having been informed of that transfer or processing.

Opinion of Advocate general

Judgment of the Court

Regulation
1e 2e

Art. 23

1.   Union or Member State law to which the data controller or processor is subject may restrict by way of a legislative measure the scope of the obligations and rights provided for in Articles 12 to 22 and Article 34, as well as Article 5 in so far as its provisions correspond to the rights and obligations provided for in Articles 12 to 22, when such a restriction respects the essence of the fundamental rights and freedoms and is a necessary and proportionate measure in a democratic society to safeguard:

(a) national security;

(b) defence;

(c) public security;

(d) 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;

(e) other important objectives of general public interest of the Union or of a Member State, in particular an important economic or financial interest of the Union or of a Member State, including monetary, budgetary and taxation a matters, public health and social security;

(f) the protection of judicial independence and judicial proceedings;

(g) the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of breaches of ethics for regulated professions;

(h) a monitoring, inspection or regulatory function connected, even occasionally, to the exercise of official authority in the cases referred to in points (a) to (e) and (g);

(i) the protection of the data subject or the rights and freedoms of others;

(j) the enforcement of civil law claims.

2.   In particular, any legislative measure referred to in paragraph 1 shall contain specific provisions at least, where relevant, as to:

(a) the purposes of the processing or categories of processing;

(b) the categories of personal data;

(c) the scope of the restrictions introduced;

(d) the safeguards to prevent abuse or unlawful access or transfer;

(e) the specification of the controller or categories of controllers;

(f) the storage periods and the applicable safeguards taking into account the nature, scope and purposes of the processing or categories of processing;

(g) the risks to the rights and freedoms of data subjects; and

(h) the right of data subjects to be informed about the restriction, unless that may be prejudicial to the purpose of the restriction

1st proposal close

Art. 21

1.           Union or Member State law may restrict by way of a legislative measure the scope of the obligations and rights provided for in points (a) to (e) of Article 5 and Articles 11 to 20 and Article 32, when such a restriction constitutes a necessary and proportionate measure in a democratic society to safeguard:

(a)     public security;

(b)     the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of criminal offences;

(c)     other public interests of the Union or of a Member State, in particular an important economic or financial interest of the Union or of a Member State, including monetary, budgetary and taxation matters and the protection of market stability and integrity;

(d)     the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of breaches of ethics for regulated professions;

(e)     a monitoring, inspection or regulatory function connected, even occasionally, with the exercise of official authority in cases referred to in (a), (b), (c) and (d);

(f)      the protection of the data subject or the rights and freedoms of others.

2nd proposal close

Art. 21

1.  Union or Member State law to which the data controller or processor is subject may restrict by way of a legislative measure the scope of the obligations and rights provided for in (...) Articles 12 to 20 and Article 32,  as well as Article 5 in so far as its provisions correspond to the rights and obligations provided for in Articles 12 to 20, when such a restriction constitutes a necessary and proportionate measure in a democratic society to safeguard:

(aa) national security;

(ab) defence;

(a) public security;

(b) the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties or the safeguarding against and the prevention of threats to public security;

(c) other important objectives of general public interests of the Union or of a Member State, in particular an important economic or financial interest of the Union or of a Member State, including, monetary, budgetary and taxation matters, public health and social security,the protection of market stability and integrity;

(ca) the protection of judicial independence and judicial proceedings ;

(d) the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of breaches of ethics for regulated professions;

(e) a monitoring, inspection or regulatory function connected, even occasionally, with the exercise of official authority in cases referred to in (aa), (ab), (a), (b), (c) and (d);

(f) the protection of the data subject or the rights and freedoms of others;

(g) the enforcement of civil law claims

2. Any legislative measure referred to in paragraph 1 shall contain specific provisions at least, where relevant, as to the purposes of the processing or categories of processing, the categories of personal data, the scope of the restrictions introduced, the specification of the controller or categories of controllers, the storage periods and the applicable safeguards taking into account the nature, scope and purposes of the processing or categories of processing and the risks for the rights and freedoms of data subjects

.

 

Directive close

Art. 13

1. Member States may adopt legislative measures to restrict the scope of the obligations and rights provided for in Articles 6 (1), 10, 11 (1), 12 and 21 when such a restriction constitutes a necessary measures to safeguard:

(a) national security;

(b) defence;

(c) public security;

(d) the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of criminal offences, or of breaches of ethics for regulated professions;

(e) an important economic or financial interest of a Member State or of the European Union, including monetary, budgetary and taxation matters;

(f) a monitoring, inspection or regulatory function connected, even occasionally, with the exercise of official authority in cases referred to in (c), (d) and (e);

(g) the protection of the data subject or of the rights and freedoms of others.

2. Subject to adequate legal safeguards, in particular that the data are not used for taking measures or decisions regarding any particular individual, Member States may, where there is clearly no risk of breaching the privacy of the data subject, restrict by a legislative measure the rights provided for in Article 12 when data are processed solely for purposes of scientific research or are kept in personal form for a period which does not exceed the period necessary for the sole purpose of creating statistics.

28. National security

(1) Personal data are exempt from any of the provisions of—

(a) the data protection principles,

(b) Parts II, III and V, and

(c) [F1sections 54A and] 55,

if the exemption from that provision is required for the purpose of safeguarding national security.

(2) Subject to subsection (4), a certificate signed by a Minister of the Crown certifying that exemption from all or       any of the provisions mentioned in subsection (1) is or at any time was required for the purpose there                      mentioned in respect of any personal data shall be conclusive evidence of that fact.

(3) A certificate under subsection (2) may identify the personal data to which it applies by means of a general          description and may be expressed to have prospective effect.

(4) Any person directly affected by the issuing of a certificate under subsection (2) may appeal to the Tribunal          against the certificate.

(5) If on an appeal under subsection (4), the Tribunal finds that, applying the principles applied by the court on       an application for judicial review, the Minister did not have reasonable grounds for issuing the certificate, the          Tribunal may allow the appeal and quash the certificate.

(6) Where in any proceedings under or by virtue of this Act it is claimed by a data controller that a certificate under    subsection (2) which identifies the personal data to which it applies by means of a general description applies       to any personal data, any other party to the proceedings may appeal to the Tribunal on the ground that the                certificate does not apply to the personal data in question and, subject to any determination under subsection       (7), the certificate shall be conclusively presumed so to apply.

(7) On any appeal under subsection (6), the Tribunal may determine that the certificate does not so apply.

(8) A document purporting to be a certificate under subsection (2) shall be received in evidence and deemed to       be such a certificate unless the contrary is proved.

(9) A document which purports to be certified by or on behalf of a Minister of the Crown as a true copy of a                certificate issued by that Minister under subsection (2) shall in any legal proceedings be evidence (or, in                   Scotland, sufficient evidence) of that certificate.

(10) The power conferred by subsection (2) on a Minister of the Crown shall not be exercisable except by a             Minister who is a member of the Cabinet or by the Attorney General or the Lord Advocate.

(11) No power conferred by any provision of Part V may be exercised in relation to personal data which by virtue       of this section are exempt from that provision.

(12) Schedule 6 shall have effect in relation to appeals under subsection (4) or (6) and the proceedings of the Tribunal in respect of any such appeal.

29. Crime and taxation

(1) Personal data processed for any of the following purposes—

(a) the prevention or detection of crime,

(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders, or

(c) the assessment or collection of any tax or duty or of any imposition of a similar nature, are exempt from the first data protection principle (except to the extent to which it requires compliance with the conditions in Schedules 2 and 3) and section 7 in any case to the extent to which the application of those provisions to the data would be likely to prejudice any of the matters mentioned in this subsection.

(not all of section set out here)

30. Health, education and social work

(1) The [F1 Secretary of State] may by order exempt from the subject information provisions, or modify those provisions in relation to, personal data consisting of information as to the physical or mental health or condition of the data subject.

(not all of section set out here)

31. Regulatory activity

(1) Personal data processed for the purposes of discharging functions to which this subsection applies are exempt from the subject information provisions in any case to the extent to which the application of those provisions to the data would be likely to prejudice the proper discharge of those functions.

(not all of section set out here)

32. Journalism, literature and art

(1) Personal data which are processed only for the special purposes are exempt from any provision to which this subsection relates if—

(a) the processing is undertaken with a view to the publication by any person of any journalistic, literary or artistic material,

(b) the data controller reasonably believes that, having regard in particular to the special importance of the public interest in freedom of expression, publication would be in the public interest, and

(c) the data controller reasonably believes that, in all the circumstances, compliance with that provision is incompatible with the special purposes.

(not all of section set out here)

33. Research, history and statistics

(1) In this section— “research purposes” includes statistical or historical purposes; “the relevant conditions”, in relation to any processing of personal data, means the conditions—

(a) that the data are not processed to support measures or decisions with respect to particular individuals, and

(b) that the data are not processed in such a way that substantial damage or substantial distress is, or is likely to be, caused to any data subject.

(not all of section set out here)

33A. Manual data held by public authorities

(1) Personal data falling within paragraph (e) of the definition of “data” in section 1(1) are exempt from—

(a) the first, second, third, fifth, seventh and eighth data protection principles,

(b) the sixth data protection principle except so far as it relates to the rights conferred on data subjects by sections 7 and 14,

(c) sections 10 to 12,

(d) section 13, except so far as it relates to damage caused by a contravention of section 7 or of the fourth data protection principle and to any distress which is also suffered by reason of that contravention,

(e) Part III, and

(f) section 55.

(not all of section set out here)

34. Information available to the public by or under enactment

Personal data are exempt from—

(a) the subject information provisions,

(b) the fourth data protection principle and section 14(1) to (3), and

(c) the non-disclosure provisions, if the data consist of information which the data controller is obliged by or under any enactment [F1other than an enactment contained in the Freedom of Information Act 2000] to make available to the public, whether by publishing it, by making it available for inspection, or otherwise and whether gratuitously or on payment of a fee.

35. Disclosures required by law or made in connection with legal proceedings etc

(1) Personal data are exempt from the non-disclosure provisions where the disclosure is required by or under any enactment, by any rule of law or by the order of a court.

(not all of section set out here)

35A. Parliamentary privilege

Personal data are exempt from—

(a) the first data protection principle, except to the extent to which it requires compliance with the conditions in Schedules 2 and 3,

(b) the second, third, fourth and fifth data protection principles,

(c) section 7, and

(d) sections 10 and 14(1) to (3), if the exemption is required for the purpose of avoiding an infringement of the privileges of either House of Parliament.

36. Domestic purposes

Personal data processed by an individual only for the purposes of that individual’s personal, family or household affairs (including recreational purposes) are exempt from the data protection principles and the provisions of Parts II and III. 

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