Misuse of data protection law in Spain to stifle speech
Privacy and data protection
In Spain, Xnet carried out research related to two examples where data protection law is being misused by the government to limit people’s rights to freedom of information and expression.
- People are impeded from making freedom of information requests because they have to provide their personal information in order to make such a request.
- The government is fining people for disseminating recordings of public servants in the course of their duties, even when the actions of such public servants break the law or go against the public interest.
Xnet believe both examples go against European data protection law, as well as European human rights law, and have a chilling effect on individuals trying to hold the government accountable.
Xnet completed the research in early 2020. They were able to refine the legal arguments and legal routes needed to take cases challenging these issues and have prepared litigation strategies. They are now considering suitable timing for beginning such litigation.
"Xnet believe both examples go against European data protection law, as well as European human rights law, and have a chilling effect on individuals trying to hold the government accountable"
- That freedom of information requests can be made without compromising privacy and personal data.
- The public can freely record and publish images, videos and voice recordings demonstrating malpractice or abuse on the part of public servants.