Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Alfred Sant (S&D)

Subject:Right to oblivion for former sick people

People who have suffered from a serious illness in the past encounter troubles in borrowing money. They suffer from higher insurance tariffs and are often exposed to warranty exclusions.

The introduction of a right to oblivion would allow, under certain conditions, victims of cancer or of hepatitis C for example to no longer have to declare these pathologies to insurance companies. This would apply beyond a specified period and only if there is no recurrence. A right to oblivion regarding serious past illness does exist since early 2016 in France.

Does the Commission intend to protect such right at European level?

Answer given by Ms Jourová on behalf of the Commission
Already today, under Article 12 (b) of Directive 95/46/EC(1) individuals have the right to have their data deleted, in particular when the data is no longer necessary.

The ‘right to be forgotten’ has been further clarified and strengthened pursuant to Article 17 of the General Data Protection Regulation(2) which will apply as from 25 May 2018.

In particular, a data subject will have the right to have his or her personal data erased and no longer processed where the personal data are no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are collected or otherwise processed, where a data subject has withdrawn his or her consent or objects to the processing of personal data concerning him or her, where the personal data have to be erased for compliance with a legal obligation in Union or Member State law to which the controller is subject or where the processing of his or her personal data does not otherwise comply with the regulation.

This does not mean that on each request of an individual all his or her personal data are to be deleted at once and forever.

Further retention of the personal data will be allowed where it is necessary, for exercising the right of freedom of expression and information, for compliance with a legal obligation, for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller, on the grounds of public interest in the area of public health, for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes, or for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.

(1) 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
(2) Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) (Text with EEA relevance), OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, p. 1‐88.