Organic Law 7/2021, of 26 May, on the protection of personal data processed for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of criminal offences and the execution of criminal penalties, which transposes Directive (EU) 2016/680 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Council Framework Decision 2008/977/JHA, includes, among other new aspects, as a “principle relating to the processing of personal data”, the duty to collaborate with the judicial authorities, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the judicial police.
Configuration of the new principle: the duty of collaboration
Public administrations, as well as any natural or legal person, have a duty to collaborate in the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of criminal offences, for the execution of penalties and for prevention and protection against a real and serious threat to public safety.
Competent authorities:Who can ask for this duty of collaboration?
· Judicial authorities
· The Public Prosecutor’s Office
· The judicial police (exclusively, for the exercise of the functions entrusted to it by art. 549.1 of Organic Law 6/1985, of July 1, of the Judiciary).
For what purposes can it be requested?
· For the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of criminal offences or for the execution of penalties.
· For prevention and protection against a real and serious threat to public safety.
What information should be provided to the competent authorities?
The data, reports, background and supporting documents that are required and that are necessary for the purposes mentioned in the previous point, and taking into account the following:
The competent authorities must formulate their requests in a concrete, specific and reasoned manner, proving their relationship with the indicated purposes and the lawful basis for the communication of data.
This duty will not apply when a judicial authorization is legally required (cases of limitations of fundamental rights).
Limitation to the right of information of data subjects
When it is applicable:
The data subject will not be informed of the transfer of their data to the competent authorities, nor that these authorities have been given access to the data in any other way, in order to safeguard the investigation:
· Nor by the competent authorities that can request the duty of collaboration.
· Nor for the subjects to whom the legal system imposes a specific duty of collaboration with the competent authorities.
The following will comply with this duty of collaboration in accordance with the specific provisions of their respective legislation:
· The Tax Agency
· The Social Security Agency
· The Labour Inspectorate
The following constitutes a very serious infraction typified in article 58 (j) of Organic Law 7/2021:
· Refusal to provide the competent authorities with the information necessary for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of criminal offences, for the execution of criminal penalties or for the protection and prevention of threats to public safety.
· Informing the data subject when their data is communicated by virtue of the duty to collaborate with the competent authorities.
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