The debtor's data can be made public on the debt exchange!

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Both debt collection companies and entrepreneurs themselves increasingly use the tool of making the debtor's personal data public by issuing receivables on the debt exchange. The vision of posting information about their debt on the Internet, which can be found after entering the basic data - surname or name in the browser, mobilizes debtors. Is making the debtor's personal data public on the debt exchange lawful?

Public disclosure of the debtor's personal data and the Personal Data Protection Act

According to the Chief Inspector of Personal Data (GIODO), such action is perfectly legal. However, one should remember about the provisions of the Act on the Protection of Personal Data. Since this is an activity related to the processing of personal data, it must be limited in scope and requires the creditor to provide the basis for processing - that is, at least one premise from Art. 23 of the Act on the Protection of Personal Data.

Art. 23 Act on the protection of personal data

Data processing is only allowed if:

1) the data subject consents to it, unless it concerns the deletion of data relating to him;

2) it is necessary to exercise the right or fulfill an obligation resulting from a legal provision;

3) it is necessary for the performance of the contract when the data subject is a party to it or when it is necessary to take action before concluding the contract at the request of the data subject;

4) it is necessary for the performance of tasks specified by lawfor the public good;

5) it is necessary to fulfill legally justified purposes carried out by data controllers or data recipients, and the processing does not violate the rights and freedoms of the data subject.

 

Pursuant to the wording of the above-mentioned article, such a legal basis may be the legally justified purpose of the data controller, i.e., for example, pursuing claims for business activity.

Disclosure of the debtor's personal data and GIODO

GIODO, when it comes to making the debtor's data public, is unequivocal: "The knowledge of who the claim is against is necessary for a rational decision to purchase the claim. Therefore, each debtor must take into account that, in delaying the performance of an obligation, his right to privacy may be limited due to the claim by the creditor of the amounts due.'.

Therefore, according to the Inspector General for Personal Data, an entrepreneur has the right to publish on the debt exchange the data of a customer who is in arrears with payment. Such a possibility in the case of, among others debt exchanges results from the provisions of the Civil Code on sale contracts, which specify the offer to sell receivables. It should be noted, however, that GIODO points out that the data necessary to determine the claim should be made available only, i.e .:

  • name,

  • last name,

  • place of residence (without giving the exact address).

Disclosure of the debtor's personal data and administrative courts

The position of GIODO is also confirmed by the Supreme Administrative Court in one of its judgments, in which it stated that it is possible to provide a debt collection company with the debtor's personal data without his consent, but care must be taken between the protection of his rights, civil liberties and his privacy and the interests of the creditor.

The Provincial Administrative Court also spoke in a similar vein, claiming that disclosing the debtor's personal data for the purpose of debt collection should not be treated as a breach of his interest, as it would be an unnecessary privilege. The conclusion of a civil law contract binds both parties with obligations to fulfill. A party that does not fulfill the contract must take into account the consequences.

To sum up, the creditor may publish in the form of an offer the debtor's personal data (without his consent) necessary to determine the given claim, i.e. the debtor's name and surname, place of residence and the amount of debt. This is fully compliant with the Personal Data Protection Act.

For many "insolvent" debtors who successfully hide their real assets, this tool seems to be one of the most efficient at the moment. It does not refer directly to the assets, but only refers to the debtor's "Internet image", which may certainly hinder running a business and arouse the distrust of potential contractors.