The dispute between OÜ Europark Estonia over the personal data of parking debtors ended with the Road Administration having to issue the data of the car owner and the authorized user on the basis of the car number plate.
The court found that the parking organizer’s legitimate interest is to file claims arising from the contract against persons who violated the parking conditions (i.e. the owner of the vehicle or the authorized user) and the Road Administration must release data from the traffic register to assist in the debt claim procedure.
The court noted that since the possessors of vehicles with registration numbers XXXXXX, YYYYYY, CCCCCC, QQQQQQ and TTTTTT (judgments do not reflect actual car numbers due to the protection of personal data) have repeatedly violated the terms of the parking contract, there is a right to request names from the Road Administration.
The court also found that the people whose data was requested could have prevented and excluded the request for data by paying the parking fee or the contractual penalty on time. Thus, if a person does not want that data about them is requested from the traffic registry, they can avoid it by paying for parking.
In addition to calling the debtors to order, the judgment is important in another respect. The court noted that although the parking manager can to a certain extent prevent non-payment of the parking fee by installing barriers or hiring guards, this does not mean that the company cannot request the data of the persons who drove to the parking lot.
No legislation imposes an obligation on a private car park operator to use any specific technical solution and the operator cannot be accused of repeatedly breaching the parking contract as a result of its inaction. Photographs are sufficient to prove the infringement.
In principle, the court said that the state cannot refuse to transfer data from registers on the grounds that an undertaking has not used physical or organizational barriers, such as a gate, barriers, guards, etc., to protect its business model.
In addition to the parking business, this conclusion is favorable to all companies planning to develop services for which iron and concrete are not an essential part of their business model.