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Balancing Fundamental Rights within the GDPR Journalistic Exemption: A Focus on Criminal Conviction and Offenses Data.
  • Kamrul Faisal
Kamrul Faisal
Helsingin yliopisto

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Abstract

News portals, social media, and other forums often publish news stories featuring details about individual’s criminal convictions and offenses data. The dissemination of such information to society for journalistic reasons is crucial for forming public opinions in every democracy, a practice safeguarded by everyone’s expressional and informational rights. However, revealing identities linked to criminal convictions and offenses data may interfere with an individual’s right to personal data protection by causing harm to their privacy. For example, the availability of such information publicly may serve as an open-source intelligence that might lead to discrimination in getting a job and insurance, among other areas. The scenario highlights a potential collision between the equally protected rights, emphasizing the complexity of balancing expressive and information rights against personal data protection by the Member States (MSs). Empirical findings indicate that in the process of achieving balance, MSs granted exemptions in varying manners, leading to disharmony with pertinent legal norms and consequent legal uncertainty. This paper outlines a unified balancing model between the fundamental rights in the realm of criminal record information. Employing a doctrinal research method discerns that any processing activity may qualify for journalistic purposes if that serves the public’s interest in their right to information, and the processing is strictly necessary. Second, it outlined a model that can be used to harmonize the reconciling mechanism within the laws on data protection in Europe.