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Turkish Constitutional Court Considered Fingerprint Tracking a Violation of Rights

Turkish Constitutional Court Considered Fingerprint Tracking a Violation of Rights

In the event, which is the subject of the Turkish Constitutional Court with application No. 2018/11988 and decision dated 10.03.2022, the Applicant works as a civil servant within the Municipality of Söke ("Municipality"). Working hours in the Municipality are tracked by fingerprint system. Despite the Applicant's objections, the case has been brought to the court of first instance, as the fingerprints continued to be taken by the Municipality.

The court of first instance decided to annul the administrative act with the acceptance of the case. In the reasoning of the decision, it is stated that the controlling of employee's working hours by fingerprint scanning system should be evaluated within the scope of the processing of personal data within the scope of the right to respect of private life, by referring to the relevant legislation. The court of first instance also stated that there is no detailed legal regulation regarding the tracking of working hours of civil servants, and that having a legal basis for restriction of fundamental rights is a constitutional obligation and at the same time one of the basic principles in the European Convention on Human Rights.

As a result of the application made by the Municipality against the aforementioned decision, the court of appeal accepted the application and decided to reject the case definitively and stated that the use of technological systems by the administrations in order to facilitate the effective and efficient execution of the public service is in the public interest.

The Turkish Constitutional Court accepted the application of the Applicant, who brought the case higher court, and it was concluded that the processing of sensitive personal data by the administration without a legal basis is a violation of the right to request the protection of personal data within the scope of the right of respect of private life guaranteed in Article 20 of Turkish Constitution.

You can review relevant Turkish Constitutional Court decision via that link (in Turkish).

Should you have any queries or need further details, please contact your customer representative.

Written by Ece Nur Karakaş, Posted in Personal Data Protection Law

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About The Author

Ece Nur Karakaş

Legal Consultant - Attorney
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