Legal AlertNewsPersonal Data Protection Authority Rendered a Decision on the Unlawful Obtaining and Sharing Union Membership Information of the Data Subject

27 January 2022
The Personal Data Protection Board (“Board”) rendered a decision dated 16.09.2021 and numbered 2021/925 (“Decision”) on the unlawful obtaining and sharing of the union membership information of the data subject.

Pursuant to the Decision, it is stated by the data subject that the union membership information and membership dates of the data subject and other union members are included in a petition written by the lawyer of an employee who has filed a lawsuit against the company for which she/he has been working for two years and the data subject applied to the data controller however she/he did not obtain a sufficient answer. For this reason, the data subject applied to Personal Data Protection Authority (‘’Authority’’).

As a result of the complaint, the Board made the following evaluations,

  • It is possible to process the sensitive personal data of the data subject, including union membership, by the data controller, by attaching it to the lawsuit petition including sharing it with a third party, only if there is explicit consent or it is stipulated under the law,
  • The petition to be submitted to the relevant Labour Court includes the union process and the alleged disputes between the employer and the employees, only the name and surname of data subject is expressly written as one of the employees who resigned from the union, the names, and surnames of other employees other than the data subject are also included in the relevant petition and resignation statements are requested from the union in order to determine the situation,
  • That freedoms such as being a member or not a member of a union of his choice, engaging in union activities or establishing a union are within the scope of freedom of association,
  • In this case, sharing the name and surname of the data subject and the membership information in the reemployment lawsuit filed by the data controller lawyer against an employee claiming that her/his employment agreement has been terminated for union activities is not contrary to the Law.

In the light of its evaluations, the Board decided that

since the allegations in the complaint petition do not constitute a violation of the Law and that there is not any applicable action within the scope of the Law in this regard.

You may reach the full Turkish version of the Decision via the link below.