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Hungary: NAIH clarifies data access rights of deceased persons

On April 17, 2023, the National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (NAIH), published its decision in Case No. NAIH-357-2/2023 in which it issued a corrective order to the National Bank (Magyar Nemzeti Bank) for violations of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and CXII of 2011 on the Right to Informational Self-determination and Freedom of Information Act (the Act), following a complaint.

Background to the decision 

The NAIH highlighted that the complaint related to the National Bank's refusal to allow the complainant to retrieve the personal data of their deceased father. In particular, the NAIH explained that the complainant was listed as the beneficiary of the deceased's life insurance policy, which the National Bank refused to pay out due to concerns regarding the health of the deceased at the time of signing the contract, based on expert opinion. The NAIH confirmed that the complainant, subsequently, requested and was denied access to the expert opinion, after which he filed an objection.  

Findings of the NAIH 

The NAIH concluded that Section 143(4) of the Act provides natural persons named as heirs or beneficiaries in a life insurance contract with the right to exercise the rights of a deceased person. In addition, the NAIH determined that the National Bank violated Article 15 of the GDPR by not providing access to the data and documents of the life insurance contract to the complainant as they were designated as beneficiary within the same. 

Outcomes 

In light of the above, the NAIH called on the National Bank to provide the complainant with access to the personal information processed and review and adapt its practices for providing access to the data relating to deceased persons.  

You can read the decision, only available in Hungarian, here