Court turns down erasure of personal data from baptismal record

Ljubljana – The Administrative Court has upheld a decision by the Information Commission’s Office that a person cannot have their personal data erased from a baptismal record kept by the Catholic Church, according to a posting on the website of the Slovenian Catholic Church.

The person in question asked the Church to erase all their personal data from the baptismal record arguing they were kept unlawfully as they had revoked their parents’ consent for it.

The Church denied the request, but the person complained at the Information Commissioner’s Office, which took a decision largely in line with the Church’s.

The Commissioner’s Office said that keeping personal data in baptismal records is a case of personal data needed for purposes of archiving in public interest.

This is in line with archives legislation, which says the documents kept by the Church are archival documents, which are governed by the principles of durability and integrity.

The Commissioner’s Office thus rejected the petitioner’s complaint against the Church’s decision arguing the conditions for erasure, as set down in the regulation on the protection of personal data, were not met.

In upholding the Commissioner’s Office’s decision, the court said that a person is not forced to take part in any religious activity if they have their personal data in a baptismal record.

And in this specific case, the Church made a note in the baptismal record that the person has officially left the Church, which the court said in itself represents respect for the person’s right not to belong to any religion.