The transfer of personal data to the police in Spain

Many times, managers of companies are obligated to disclose personal employee information or images from security cameras to Spanish police officers. It raises the question whether supplying such information violates the law on the protection of personal data.

In this regard, the law on personal data states that the recording and processing of personal data for the use of law enforcement agencies, without the consent of the person concerned, is limited to cases and categories of data that are necessary for the prevention of a real danger to public safety or the prosecution of criminal offenses, and must be stored in specific files established for this purpose, which shall be classified according to their degree of reliability.

As a result, law enforcement agencies in a particular investigation may request personal data they need when they are necessary for the restoration of public safety or prosecution of criminal offenses.

However, Spanish law on the protection of personal data specifies that data processing by law enforcement agencies is possible provided certain guarantees are respected, including:

a) Whether a concrete and specific request. For example, in a request for video recordings, the request specifies the maximum number of images, the date, time and place of the recording.

b) The request must demonstrate sufficient grounds to prove their connection with the investigation.

c) The data must be deleted when it is no longer needed for the investigation.

In short, the petition for personal data by a police officer must be justified and, except in exceptional cases of emergency, must be accompanied by a formal written request.

This article is not considered as legal advice

Jesús Sánchez

A Business Law graduate of the Universidad San Pablo (CEU) and a PhD in Consitutional Rights and IT, Jesús Sanchez specialises in IT Law. He is a partner at Áudea, a firm that specialises in the managing the security of information. For any further enquiries please Contact us