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Right to information under Art. 15 of the GDPR

Industrial property law

Right to information under Art. 15 of the GDPR

According to Art. 15 of the GDPR, every data subject can demand information from the company with which he or she is connected as to whether personal data concerning him or her is processed there; if it is processed, the data subject also has the right to information and also to receive a copy of this data (Art. 15(3) of the GDPR). The right is increasingly used strategically by employees and consumers in Germany to put pressure on the company (for example, employer or insurance company).

It is usually only possible for employers to satisfy it with great effort and is therefore suitable for rounding up the severance payment in a negotiation on the end of the employment relationship.

The BGH has now for the first time defined the scope of the right to information and copy in the case of a policyholder (BGH dated 15 June 2021, VI ZR 576/19). The policyholder demanded information and copies of all stored data from the insurance company, which initially refused to fulfil the claim in full, stating that the plaintiff was aware of the correspondence anyway.

The BGH did not consider this objection to be valid, as the consumer was not required to keep or store his own correspondence, and also ordered the insurance company to hand over internal notes.