Legal basis under Austrian data protection law

Public interest

Processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, for scientific or historical research purposes or for statistical purposes, which is not carried out for personal results, is regulated in § 7 DSG.

For more information, see below:

Archiving, scientific and historical research.

Processing of personal data in case of emergency(§ 10 DSG)

In the event of an emergency, public sector personnel and aid organisations are authorised to mutually process personal data to the extent necessary to assist persons directly affected by the catastrophe, to find and identify missing and deceased persons and to inform relatives.

Anyone who lawfully possesses personal data may transmit it to public sector officials and aid organisations, provided that they need the personal data to deal with the disaster. A transfer abroad is also permitted under these conditions.

Controllers are entitled, at the request of a close relative of a person actually or presumed to be directly affected by the disaster, to provide the inquiring individual with personal data relating to the data subject’s location and investigation status if the relative credibly indicates his or her identity and close relationship.

Special categories of personal data (Art. 9 GDPR) may only be transferred to close relatives if they prove their identity and their family member status and if the transfer is necessary to safeguard their rights or those of the data subject. ‘Close relative’ is defined in § 10 para. 5 DSG, which includes in particular: parents, children or spouses.

The processed personal data are to be deleted immediately if they are no longer needed for the specific purpose – i.e. disaster management.

Image processing

The admissibility of image processing is regulated in § 12 DSG. The term recording images includes both acoustic information as well as photos and video recordings in the private sphere.

It is therefore permissible, inter alia, if the data subject has consented to the image recording or if there is a legitimate interest in the individual case and proportionality has been maintained.

A legitimate interest can be:

  • the protection of persons or things on private property,
  • public places, as well as
  • a private interest in documentation that is not directed toward the identification of uninvolved persons.

On the other hand, video surveillance is expressly prohibited in personal life, for the purpose of monitoring workers as well as the automation-supported aligning of records with other personal data.

Processing by media

According to § 9 DSG, the processing of personal data by media owners, publishers, media workers and employees of a media company or media service as per the Media Act, the provisions of the DSG and the GDPR Chapter II (Principles), III (Rights of the data subject), IV (Controller and processor), V (Transfers of personal data to third countries or international organisations), VI (Independent supervisory authorities), VII (Cooperation and consistency) and IX (Provisions relating to specific processing situations), for journalistic purposes of the media company or media service, shall not apply.

These exceptions are intended to protect media freedom and legally guaranteed editorial secrecy.

Consent of children

Austria has made use of the opening clause to establish a lower age limit for the consent of children.

Consequently, in Austria, consent to the processing of the personal data of the child when offering information society services is lawful if the child has reached the age of fourteen.

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