ECtHR: Free Expression and Data Protection must be balanced
15 Apr 2016
ARTICLE 19, with the Bulgarian Access to Information Programme and Társaság a Szabadságjogokért (Hungarian Civil Liberties Union), has submitted an amicus curiae brief to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), regarding the case of Satakunnan Markkinporssi Oy and Satamedia Oy v Finland.
The ECtHR is to decide whether prohibiting the republication of citizens tax information, where that information has previously been published by the State, is compatible with the Article 10 rights to free expression and freedom of information. This is one of the first cases where the ECtHR has examined the relationship of data protection and freedom of expression.
We believe that this case presents the Court with an important opportunity to examine: (i) the evolving nature of journalistic activities and the ways in which those activities increasingly depend on effective data-sharing by social watchdog organisations and others (ii) the importance generally of protecting the Article 10 rights to receive and impart information and the implications of EU legislation on the re-use of public sector information; and (iii) the proper approach to be taken by the Court to the balancing of data privacy rights with Article 10 rights in the context of international, regional and national legislation.
The interveners would like to especially thank Anya Proops QC, of 11KBW, for invaluable assistance with drafting of the brief.