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Bosnia & Herzegovina: AZLP announces court decision upholding personal data privacy rights

The Agency for Personal Data Protection in Bosnia and Herzegovina ('AZLP') announced, on 17 February 2023, that the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has rejected the lawsuit of the Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina against the AZLP. In particular, the AZLP noted that the lawsuit was filed after the AZLP prohibited the publication of personal data of voters registered to vote outside Bosnia and Herzegovina on the official website of the Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Moreover, the AZLP highlighted that it carried out the procedure ex officio in response to several queries of citizens and a report of a data subject regarding the publication of personal data.

Furthermore, the AZLP emphasised that, in the lawsuit, the Central Election Commission argued that the publication of minimum voter data was necessary to prevent abuses in the electoral process and enable voters to appeal. However, the AZLP informed that the Court found that the publication of personal data was not necessary to fulfil the competence of the Central Election Commission, and that potential suspicious voter registration can be verified without publishing relevant lists.

In essence, the AZLP pointed out that the Court emphasised the importance of balancing legitimate demands for the implementation of tasks set by the law with the equally legitimate demand for the protection of private and personal life. Additionally, the AZLP outlined that the Court's decision reaffirmed the importance of protecting personal data in accordance with legal provisions and international standards.

Highlighting the important precedent for the protection of personal data in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the need for entities handling personal data to prioritise the protection of individuals' privacy rights, the AZLP stated that it will continue to monitor and enforce compliance with data protection laws to ensure that individuals' privacy rights are respected and upheld.

You can read the press release, only available in Bosnian, here.