Lepmets & Nõges was approached by Postimees, who wanted a lawyer's opinion on whether a paid parking service provider can transfer personal data of parkers to third parties. Apparently, parking in old parking lots like EuroPark and CityPark continues to raise questions. The postman's question was the result of a concerned reader who recently received a fine for parking in a private parking lot, for which the reader's personal data was then transferred to a debt collection service provider.

"I parked in a private parking lot. I got fined. There has been no rush to pay, because as far as I know, there is a court ruling on this matter, according to which a plaque on the parking lot does not mean the conclusion of a bilateral contract. Some time ago I received a call from a debt collection company asking if I was the user of so-and-so car. I asked why you call people and ask such things and where did you get this information. The collection company replied that the parking company gave. According to the company, the data reached the parking lot when I used mobile parking.» explained the reader.

On the one hand, the reader is right - allowing parking in some territory and erecting a notice board with the fee rates does not automatically mean concluding a parking contract with a parker in every territory. The latter has also been confirmed by the Supreme Court in its decision No. 3-2-1-75-10. On the other hand, it is not ruled out that the parking contract is still considered concluded in this case. The question of concluding a contract depends primarily on the conditions written on the notice board with the fee rates and the placement and visibility of the board or boards. In this case, the exact circumstances are unknown, so it cannot be said whether a contract was concluded in a specific case or not.

Regarding the legality of transferring personal data to third parties (e.g. debt collection), it is again important whether a parking contract has been concluded between the customer and the parking service provider or not. According to the law, the processing of personal data is permitted without the consent of the data subject, if the personal data is processed to fulfill a contract concluded with the data subject or to ensure the fulfillment of the contract. Therefore, if a parking contract was signed, the client's personal data can be transferred to the debt collection agency to fulfill this contract, and vice versa - if there is no contract, then the transfer of the customer's personal data to the debt collection agency is against the law.

If a person signs a parking contract using mobile parking, the parking service provider only has information that a vehicle with a certain registration number has been parked from a certain mobile number in one specific case. Even if the person associated with the mobile number in question is identified, such information does not allow to conclude that the same person is also associated with subsequent parkings.

Read the full article from Postimehe TallinnCity's "News/Traffic" section. Published on February 18, 2014.