Article 23
Restrictions

Official
Texts
Guidelines Caselaw Review of
EU Regulation
Review of
Nat. Regulation
Show the recitals of the Regulation related to article 23 keyboard_arrow_down Hide the recitals of the Regulation related to article 23 keyboard_arrow_up

(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.

Show the recitals of the Directive related to article 23 keyboard_arrow_down Hide the recitals of the Directive related to article 23 keyboard_arrow_up

(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.

Summary

European Union

European Union

European data protection board (EDPB)

Statement on the processing of personal data in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak (19 March 2020)

The European Data Protection Board has adopted the following statement: Governments, public and private organisations throughout Europe are taking measures to contain and mitigate COVID-19. This can involve the processing of different types of personal data. Data protection rules (such as the GDPR) do not hinder measures taken in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The fight against communicable diseases is a valuable goal shared by all nations and therefore, should be supported in the best possible way. It is in the interest of humanity to curb the spread of diseases and to use modern techniques in the fight against scourges affecting great parts of the world. Even so, the EDPB would like to underline that, even in these exceptional times, the data controller and processor must ensure the protection of the personal data of the data subjects. Therefore, a number of considerations should be taken into account to guarantee the lawful processing of personal data and in all cases it should be recalled that any measure taken in this context must respect the general principles of law and must not be irreversible. Emergency is a legal condition which may legitimise restrictions of freedoms provided these restrictions are proportionate and limited to the emergency period.

Link

Statement on restrictions on data subject rights in connection to the state of emergency1 in Member States (2 June 2020)

Link

Guidelines on restrictions under Article 23 GDPR - 10/2020 (13 October 2021)

This document seeks to provide guidance as to the application of Article 23 GDPR. These Guidelines provide a thorough analysis of the criteria to apply restrictions, the assessments that need to be observed, how data subjects can exercise their rights once the restriction is lifted and the consequences for infringements of Article 23 GDPR.

The protection of natural persons in relation to the processing of personal data is a fundamental right. Article 16(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union mandates the European Parliament and the Council to lay down the rules in relation to the protection of personal data and the rules relating to the free movement of personal data. The GDPR protects the rights and freedoms of natural persons and in particular their right to data protection. Data protection cannot be ensured without adhering to the rights and principles set out in the GDPR (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 in Articles 12 to 22 GDPR). All these rights and obligations are at the core of the fundamental right to data protection and their application should be the general rule. In particular, any limitation to the fundamental right to data protection needs to observe Article 52 of the Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union (‘the Charter’).

It is against this background that Article 23 GDPR should be read and interpreted. This provision is entitled ‘restrictions’. It provides that, under Union or Member State law, the application of certain provisions of the Regulation, relating to the rights of the data subjects and controllers’ obligations, may be restricted in the situations therein listed. Restrictions should be seen as exceptions to the general rule allowing the exercise of rights and imposing the obligations enshrined in the GDPR . 

As such, restrictions should be interpreted narrowly, only be applied in specifically provided circumstances and only when certain conditions are met.

Even in exceptional situations, the protection of personal data cannot be restricted in its entirety. It must be upheld in all emergency measures, as per Article 23 GDPR thus contributing to the respect of the overarching values of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights on which the Union is founded: any measure taken by Member States shall respect the general principles of law, the essence of the fundamental rights and freedoms and shall not be irreversible and data controllers and processors shall continue to comply with data protection rules.

In all cases, where Union or Member State law allows restrictions to data subjects’ rights or to the obligations of the controllers (including joint controllers3 ) and processors4 , it should be noted that the accountability principle, as laid down in Article 5(2) GDPR, is still applicable. This means that the controller is responsible for, and shall be able to demonstrate to the data subjects his or her compliance with the EU data protection framework, including the principles relating to the processing of their data.

When the EU or national legislator lays down restrictions based on Article 23 GDPR, it shall ensure that it meets the requirements set out in Article 52(1) of the Charter, and in particular conduct a proportionality assessment so that restrictions are limited to what is strictly necessary.

Links

Summary

European Union

European Union

CJEU caselaw

C-473/12 (7 november 2013) - IPI

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) - Bara e.a.

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.

No (special) provision under Hungarian law.

Old law close

Rights of data subjects; enforcement

§ 19 Data Protection Act

The rights of data subjects afforded under Sections 14-18 may be restricted by this Act in order to safeguard the external and internal security of the State, such as defense, national security, the prevention and prosecution of criminal offences, the safety of penal institutions, to protect the economic and financial interests of central and local government, safeguard the important economic and financial interests of the European Union, guard against disciplinary and ethical breaches in regulated professions, prevent and detect breaches of obligation related to labor law and occupational safety - including in all cases control and supervision - and to protect data subjects or the rights and freedoms of others.


General provisions on access to information of public interest

§27 Data Protection Act

(1) Access to public information or information of public interest shall be restricted if it has been classified under the Act on the Protection of Classified Information.

(2) Right of access to public information and information of public interest may be restricted by law - with the specific type of data indicated - where considered necessary for one of the following reasons:

a) defense;

b) national security;

c) prevention and prosecution of criminal offenses;

d) environmental protection and nature preservation;

e) central financial or foreign exchange policy;

f) external relations, relations with international organizations;

g) court proceedings or administrative proceedings;

h) intellectual property rights.

[...]

Turkey close

MADDE 28 - (1) Bu Kanun hükümleri aşağıdaki hâllerde uygulanmaz:

a) Kişisel verilerin, üçüncü kişilere verilmemek ve veri güvenliğine ilişkin yükümlülüklere uyulmak kaydıyla gerçek kişiler tarafından tamamen kendisiyle veya aynı konutta yaşayan aile fertleriyle ilgili faaliyetler kapsamında işlenmesi.

b) Kişisel verilerin resmi istatistik ile anonim hâle getirilmek suretiyle araştırma, planlama ve istatistik gibi amaçlarla işlenmesi.

c) Kişisel verilerin millî savunmayı, millî güvenliği, kamu güvenliğini, kamu düzenini, ekonomik güvenliği, özel hayatın gizliliğini veya kişilik haklarını ihlal etmemek ya da suç teşkil etmemek kaydıyla, sanat, tarih, edebiyat veya bilimsel amaçlarla ya da ifade özgürlüğü kapsamında işlenmesi,

ç) Kişisel verilerin millî savunmayı, millî güvenliği, kamu güvenliğini, kamu düzenini veya ekonomik güvenliği sağlamaya yönelik olarak kanunla görev ve yetki verilmiş kamu kurum ve kuruluşları tarafından yürütülen önleyici, koruyucu ve istihbari faaliyetler kapsamında işlenmesi.

d) Kişisel verilerin soruşturma, kovuşturma, yargılama veya infaz işlemlerine ilişkin olarak yargı makamları veya infaz mercileri tarafından işlenmesi.

(2) Bu Kanunun amacına ve temel ilkelerine uygun ve orantılı olmak kaydıyla veri sorumlusunun aydınlatma yükümlülüğünü düzenleyen 10 uncu, zararın giderilmesini talep etme hakkı hariç, ilgili kişinin haklarını düzenleyen 11 inci ve Veri Sorumluları Siciline kayıt yükümlülüğünü düzenleyen 16 ncı maddeleri aşağıdaki hâllerde uygulanmaz:

a) Kişisel veri işlemenin suç işlenmesinin önlenmesi veya suç soruşturması için gerekli olması.

b) İlgili kişinin kendisi tarafından alenileştirilmiş kişisel verilerin işlenmesi.

c) Kişisel veri işlemenin kanunun verdiği yetkiye dayanılarak görevli ve yetkili kamu kurum ve kuruluşları ile kamu kurumu niteliğindeki meslek kuruluşlarınca, denetleme veya düzenleme görevlerinin yürütülmesi ile disiplin soruşturma veya kovuşturması için gerekli olması.

ç) Kişisel veri işlemenin bütçe, vergi ve mali konulara ilişkin olarak Devletin ekonomik ve mali çıkarlarının korunması için gerekli olması.

close