Judgment 67657/17

Applicant name  UÇKAN
Applicant type Natural person (aquited)
Number of applicants 1
Country Turkey
Application no. 67657/17
Date 18/04/2023
Judges Jovan Ilievski, président,
 Lorraine Schembri Orland,
 Diana Sârcu
Institution Court
Type Judgment
Outcome Art. 8 Violation
Reason No necessary (the rights of others and prevention of criminal offenses)
Type of privacy Informational privacy
Keywords Data retention; fingerprints; aquited; disproportional
Facts of the casePolice officers had come to applicant’s home to take him to the police station in the context of a complaint of theft of a cell phone after the complainant had erroneously identified as the perpetrator of the crime during a search carried out by investigators in this database. Susequently, taking into account the acquittal of the applciant, the photos concerning him were deleted and the remainder of the data appearing in the criminal file had been rectified so as to place them in a register for identification purposes. Applicant sought to delete his data from that register, but to no avail.
Analysis The retention in a file held by national authorities of personal data such as the fingerprints of an identified or identifiable individual constitutes an interference in the exercise of the right to respect for private life. Although this interference had a legal basis and served a legitimate interest, the Court finds it is disproportional. The Court points to the risk of stigmatization which resulted from the fact that people, after having benefited from an acquittal or a dismissal of proceedings had been treated in the same way as convicted persons. The national law does not provide for the possibility of erasing the stored data and the duration of data retention – ten years after the death of the person concerned, and in any case eighty years after the date of recording – is in practice comparable to indefinite retention or, at least, to a standard rather than a maximum limit.
Other Article violation? No violation Article 3 ECHR
Damage awarded that the respondent State must pay to the applicant, within three months, the following sums, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable on the date of settlement:
2,000 EUR (two thousand euros), plus any amount that may be due as tax on this sum, for non-pecuniary damage;
1,000 EUR (one thousand euros), plus any amount that may be owed by the applicant as tax on this sum, for costs and expenses;
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