Processing of personal data
by religious denominations versus
the powers of the Inspector General
for the Protection of Personal Data

People who have actually withdrawn from a religious denomination are entitled to
make a written demand requiring that this religious denomination should stop processing
their personal data and include the relevant information in the appropriate register
(for example, in the baptismal register). In such a situation, the internal law of this
religious denomination should define the procedure required in the exercise of control
powers (pertaining to information and rectification) by those people, which follows
from the provisions of the act on the protection of personal data. A religious denomination
has the exclusive right to determine its internal relations with its members or
persons who have regular contact with it, which means that these relations fall outside
the competence of the Inspector General for the Protection of Personal Data and courts
as bodies of the state. However, a religious denomination has to guarantee the exercise
of control powers by people whose data it processes. Put differently, it is obliged to
develop a suitable procedure regulating the abandonment of processing personal data.
The Inspector General for the Protection of Personal Data, for his part, is entitled to
ask religious organisations for an explanation as to whether such a procedure has
been introduced. If not, he should signal the irregularities in their processing of personal
data. This solution guarantees both the inviolability of the doctrine of religious
denominations by state bodies and the exercise of rectification powers by persons
whose data are processed by religious denominations. However, it is legitimate to make
a proposal de lege ferenda that this procedure should be included in the provisions of
the act on the protection of personal data, which is an act of generally applicable law.

Pobierz plik (16-2013 Walencik.pdf)16-2013 Walencik.pdf566 kB
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