Employees’ personal data — is their consent sufficient for processing?

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Rodoljub Šabić, the commissioner for information of public importance and personal data protection in the Republic of Serbia, said on 17 September 2013 that a large number of employees’ personal data is being processed on the basis of their ‘consent’, which may not be considered a valid legal basis taking into account the completely unequal relations between an employer and employee.

While assessing that the announced amendments to the Labor Law are the perfect opportunity to systematically deal with the problems regarding personal data processing in the employment sphere, the commissioner explained that voluntarily provided consent may only exist when one can refuse to provide his/her consent without any detrimental consequences to his/her employment or possibility of employment, which is obviously not the case, often resulting in violations of the rights of employees and applicants for employment with the ‘provided consent’ argumentation…

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