個人資料保護辦公室

Gabinete para a Protecção de Dados Pessoais

Office for Personal Data Protection

Complaint Case Notes
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No: 0035/2010/IP

Title: Resident dissatisfied with having his name appear in a notice published within a newspaper

Reason: Complaints

Brief:

    Resident A and his wife are both owners of Unit X. As illegal additional work was carried out on Resident A’s Unit X, the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau of the Macao Special Administrative Region (hereinafter referred to as DSSOPT) issued a ban on the project to Resident A and his wife. Resident A then visited DSSOPT personally to find out the details of the ban. As he had not yet decided if he would have the illegal part removed, he asked a DSSOPT staff whether his and his wife’s name would be published in the newspaper. The staff responded, verbally stating that their names would not be published.
  Resident A later discovered that DSSOPT had published the “Final Notice” regarding Unit X in the newspaper, which contained both their names. Resident A subsequently filed a complaint with this Office (GPDP), claiming that the “Personal Data Protection Act” had been breached by DSSOPT. Resident A felt that since its staff had verbally agreed not to publish their names in the newspaper, he was dissatisfied that DSSOPT had allowed their names to be published in a newspaper without their consent.

Analysis:

    In accordance with the provisions in articles 4.1.(1) and 3.1 of the Personal Data Protection Act, the data processing involved in this case is within the scope of regulation by the said Act.
  DSSOPT explained that Resident A’s illegal project had breached the terms of Article 8.12 of the Decree-Law No. 24/95/M, (the “Fire Safety Regulation”). As a result, in accordance with the regulations of Article 88.1 of the same Law, the project was banned and an order for its removal was issue.
  As the final decision for the removal of the relevant illegal project and the evictions involved resident A, his wife, other third parties in the project and the trustees and owners of the works, DSSOPT consequently published a notice in a newspaper, in accordance with the provisions of Article 72.2 of the “Administrative Procedure Code”. In addition, in order to allow Resident A and his wife to be informed of the content of the final decision, DSSOPT issued an official letter and handed it over to the wife of Resident A.
  In GPDP’s opinion, , as the project breaching the “Fire Safety Regulation” had to be removed and was banned by DSSOPT, DSSOPT could process Resident A’s personal data within the purview of its powers granted to it by the “Fire Safety Regulation” as a public authority. As such, the personal data processing was carried out in accordance with the regulations of Article 6.(4) of the “Personal Data Protection Act”. DSSOPT thus had legitimacy to process Resident A’s personal data without his consent.
  DSSOPT published the notice containing the names of Resident A and his wife within the newspapers in order to notify other unknown third parties or trustees in involved in the project. As DSSOPT was unable to obtain the specific contact details of the abovementioned people, it published the respective notice, in accordance with the terms of Article 72.2 of the “Administrative Procedure Code”.
  Suppose that there are unknown third parties involved in the project or trustees are simultaneously involved in other projects similar to Resident A’s, if the names of the project owners had not been published, there would be no way to determine which illegal project needed to be removed. Therefore, and in accordance with the terms of Article 113.1.(c) and Article 70.(b) of the “Administrative Procedure Code”, DSSOPT could publish the names of Resident A and his wife. This action was also carried out in observance of the principle of proportionality determined in Article 5 of the “Personal Data Protection Act”.
  With regards to Resident A’s claim that DSSOPT’s staff had verbally promised not to publish his and his wife’s names in the newspaper, GPDP felt that it was an internal affair of DSSOPT and will take no further action in this matter.
  In summary, GPDP believed that the publication of the respective notice by DSSOPT did not breach Articles 5 or 6 of the “Personal Data Protection Act”.

Result:

    GPDP sent an official letter informing DSSOPT of the abovementioned assessment.
  DSSOPT later replied and claimed that the matter had been handled internally.

Reference:
Please refer to "Personal Data Protection Act", articles 3,4,5,6 .

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