Personal Data Protection Issue Reflected in the Case-law of the Constitutional Court of Romania

AuthorValentina Barbateanu
PositionAsistant Professor, PhD, Faculty of Law, 'Nicolae Titulescu' University of Bucharest (e-mail:
Valentina BRBEANU
Over the past few years, data privacy became more and more an issue that stirred on European
level lots of debates and determined the adoption of a new set of rules, imposed with the compulsory
force of a European regulation. Thus, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaced
the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and reshaped the way the data are managed in various fields
of activity. In Romania, the Constitutional Court had to bring light over important areas that involved
the use of personal data and developed a relevant case-law regarding the concordance with the
essential standards implied by the protection of private life enshrined both in the Romanian Basic Law
and in the European Convention on Human Rights. The paper intends to depict the main challenges
that faced the constitutional review and the measure that the Romanian vision over this problem is
consistent with the European landmarks set in this field.
Keywords: right to privacy, personal data, European regulation, constitutional review,
constitutional case-law.
1. Introduction
The digital age that reigns nowadays
has changed not only the way people
interact, but also the way the states
themselves position their legislation towards
the technological progress. Day by day, due
to the constant increase of accessibility of
various kind of electronic devices, more
efficient and attractive the electronic
communications become and more complex
and diverse are the tasks and activities that
ordinary people can be involved in.
Consequently, the higher becomes the risk
of privacy breaches. The so-called
‘datacraty’ imposed its authority over the
quasi-entirety of the social life1. In order to
avoid the negative effects of exposure of the
citizens’ personal data, a set of rules meant
Asistant Professor, PhD, Faculty of Law, “Nicolae Titulescu” University of Bucharest (e-ma il:
1 Relevant in this direction is, for instance, the fact that the famous review “Pouvoir” has dedicated a whole
number to this topic. See Pouvoir, La datacratie, no.164/2018.
to diminish this risk has been implemented
at the European Union level.
The main idea that is in the core of all
these rules is the protection of the right to
respect for private life, also referred to the
right to privacy. The right to personal data
protection derives in a logical manner from
the first mention right. Each state has also
created a national system of protection,
taking into consideration the European
general framework.
This European framework also
includes the Council of Europe’s system, as
well. In this regard, the European
Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), one
of the first major regulations at the European
level, provides, in Article 8, that everyone
has the right to respect for his or her private
and family life, home and correspondence.

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