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: 0006/2008/IP

Title: Employment agencies posted job seekers’ personal data

Reason: Reports

Brief:

    Resident X claimed that many employment agencies posted job seekers’ personal data on the windows or outdoors.
  Resident X believed that this conduct violated the Personal Data Protection Act, and filed a report to this Office (GPDP).

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.
  GPDP’s investigation confirmed that some of the employment agencies had indeed posted job seekers’ personal data on the windows or outdoors. The data disclosed generally included job seekers’ photo, name, nationality, age, marital status, religion, education, work experience, document number, among other things.
  In GPDP’s opinion, with the data subjects’ consent, an employment agency may disclose job seekers’ data to a reasonable extent. However, the agency must make sure that the data are what job seeking may require. In general, disclosure of data directly relevant to employment purposes should suffice, and there is no need to disclose more personal data than necessary. Otherwise, the agencies may risk violating Article 5.1.(3) of the Personal Data Protection Act.
  Thus, as the public authority coordinating the compliance to the Personal Data protection Act, GPDP issued the “Guidelines on Employment Agencies’ Processing Job-seekers’ Personal Data”, in order to guide the employment agencies to understand the provisions of the Act and the consequences of violation, and correct their practices not in compliance with the Act. The guidelines state that, in order to adhere to the principles of proportionality and non-discrimination, and to ensure the safety of the data, they may not disclose the following data of job seekers to the public: ID number or travel document number, nationality, origin, birth place, birth date, contact details, certificate of criminal record, and other sensitive data (i.e. political beliefs, political society or trade union membership, religion, privacy, racial and ethnic origin and data concerning health or sex life).

Result:

    GPDP sent letters to all employment agencies and ask them to observe the “Guidelines on Employment Agencies’ Processing Job-seekers’ Personal Data”, and make appropriate improvement, including not to post the job seeks’ personal data excessively.
  The employment agencies followed GPDP’s instructions and made improvements.

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

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