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Austria: Supreme Court rejects data protection claim in light of Article 6(1)(f) of the GDPR

The Austrian data protection authority ('DSB') published its Newsletter No. 4/2022, in which it reported that the Austrian Supreme Court had issued, on 29 August 2022, its Decision No. 6 Ob 198/21t, in which it did not uphold the appeal of a data subject, a doctor, and of the Vienna Medical Association, in a case concerning the processing of their personal data by the operator of a search and rating portal for doctors. In particular, the Court carried out a balancing of interests pursuant to Article 6(1)(f) of the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) ('GDPR').

On the one hand, the Court held that the data controller, the operator of a search and rating portal for doctors, had protected its own legitimate interests, as well as those of the users of its portal, while relying on Articles 11 and 16 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, as the data processing was necessary for the intended purpose of having a complete record of all doctors in private practice. On the other hand, the Court held that, although the interests of the parties could be based on Articles 7, 8, and 16 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, these did not prevail.

Lastly, the Court noted the considerable interest that the public has in the information and possibilities offered on the portal, in connection with the fact that the portal operator had set up a reporting system to protect doctors against abuse of the rating system.

You can read the newsletter, only available in German, here.