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2017 | 85 | 29-37
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States of emergency – selected problems regarding the personal data protection

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The following elaboration has been produced following the analysis of the problem regarding the protection of privacy and private life as well as the personal data themselves under the circumstances of life-threatening situations or the state of emergency. The solutions stipulated by the domestic and EU legislation have been analysed with emphasis put over accessing processes to personal data , both indispensible and proportional ones, carried out with an intention to secure public safety, including the protection of human life especially as a reaction to natural disasters or catastrophes caused by humans, protection of other important objectives that lie within general public interest, for instance when data processing remains necessary for humanitarian purposes, including the monitoring of epidemics and their dispersion. Personal data are characterised by various degrees of sensitivity and criticality. Some of them may require an additional level of protection and special treatment. GDPR makes it possible for the Member States to clarify their provisions , including such ones regarding the processing of personal data of special categories ( also referred to as sensitive data), they do not exclude an option to specify in the legislation of a Member State the circumstances of precise situations related to data processing , including the precise clarification of conditions which decide whether data processing remains compliant to the law. Personal data processing under extraordinary circumstances may imply, as an exception, the necessity to transfer the data if such action is required by important public interest set forth by the EU legislation or the relevant provisions of a Member State or if such transferring occurs from the register established by law and intended to provide an insight for the general public or persons maintaining legally valid interest, for instance public health units in order to establish infectious contacts in case of infectious diseases outbreak. A subsequent part of the article focuses on the issues related to the course of actions under state of emergency, i.e. it presents the proceedings to be carried out in emergency state and specifies the concerns on emergency call processing, including the personal data.
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  • Faculty of Law and Administration, University of Gdansk, 6 Jana Bażyńskiego Str., 80-309, Gdańsk, Poland
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