Redacción Médica – 14th February 2019
Jehovah’s Witnesses fined €10,000 for using medical data without permission
According to the resolution of the Data Protection Agency, the information was used for other purposes than authorized
The Data Protection Agency has imposed a fine of 10,000 euros to Jehovah’s Witnesses for collecting data from doctors and patients without prior authorization.
The religious institution has a Hospital Liaison Committee (CEH) in each province that visits the hospitals to find out the degree of collaboration of the medical staff according to the beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, “which is only realization of surgeries without transfusions “, is included in the resolution of the Agency to which Medical Drafting has had access .
When compiling these data, as demonstrated by the resolution, the members of the Committees overreached their duties , gathering information without requesting the relevant permission stipulated by law. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have filed an appeal after the ruling but it has not been accepted .
In the document, the existence of data that have been ” stored and conserved , and imply the processing of data without consent that is imputed, estimating that they are part of a file, are related as rights basics “. In addition, the resolution recounts certain inaccuracies of members of the Committees: “The statements of the member of the CEH that the database had been destroyed lack veracity to verify the survival of the same, which existed in 2014 and in 2017 – when He did the inspection – they still exist. ”
On the allegation of the defendant regarding whether the data obtained from the physicians that are in its files are included or not within the scope of application of the LOPD, the concise Agency that deals with doctors “who provide services in a public hospital, and it is historically data from personal interviews and their willingness to collaborate with the denounced.” The notes of collaborator / consultant r are added to the physician that consists in their databases, which is not a data of the doctor’s own but a creation of the one denounced. ”
Purpose of the collected data
As stated in the information to which this media has had access, the data collected in the databases analyzed ” do not seek to contact the company / hospital but do so with each and every one of the specialties in the people of their doctors , members of the files, including several physicians within the same specialty in some cases, appreciating that the origin and transfer of the data come from the work of the CEH from which the files are fed “. Therefore, the Agency argues, “we only see a direct relationship with physicians , in no way with the Hospital, it can not be qualified as incidental data when physicians have been classified as collaborators or consultants”.
In this way, adds the AEPD,It can not be considered that the inclusion of the data of the doctor is merely accidental in relation to the purpose that justifies the treatment, but it is precisely the identification of each of the medical professionals the purpose of the databases created and the purpose that motivates its creation. “Therefore,” the physicians whose data are in the files of the defendant should be considered included in the scope of application of the LOPD because the fact of being a doctor and practicing Medicine, in itself, does not It supposes the development of a business activity, especially when said medical activity is carried out in a public hospital belonging to the Health Service of the Autonomous Community of Cantabria in which service is provided by another person “.
In short, the Agency considers that the purpose was “to create a database with information from physicians to know their position regarding bloodless medicine or availability of these interventions . sources of public access, more specifically on the web page of the Hospital, it must be indicated that it is not that they only include the data of the Doctors, but that they appear classified in folders, as a collaborator or consultant, data that is not in the Hospital ” .
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