Processing the personal data of potential bone marrow donors K 25/13
It is consistent with the Constitution to enter the following information into the central register of unrelated potential donors of bone marrow and umbilical cord blood: name and surname, place of birth, address and PESEL number (Polish ID number) of a given candidate for the said donor as well as information on an entity that examined his/her antigens of tissue compatibility. However, what is inconsistent with the Constitution is to provide all the data of the donors to a minister competent for health care and the National Transplantation Council.
At the hearing on 22 July 2014 at 9.00, the Constitutional Tribunal considered an application, submitted by the Polish Ombudsman, with regard to processing the personal data of potential bone marrow donors.
The Constitutional Tribunal adjudicated that:
- Article 16(3)(1), Article 16(3)(2) in the part which included the wording “and the place”, Article 16(3)(3), Article 16(3)(4) and Article 16(3)(6) of the Act of 1 July 2005 on collecting, storing and transplanting cells, tissues and organs were consistent with Article 47 and Article 51(2) in conjunction with Article 31(3) of the Constitution;
- Article 16(6) of the above Act was inconsistent with Article 47 and Article 51(2) in conjunction with Article 31(3) of the Constitution.
Collecting information on potential bone marrow donors in the central register of unrelated potential donors of bone marrow and umbilical cord blood does not constitute an excessive restriction of their right to privacy and their right to information autonomy.
This is necessary for the proper functioning of the register, and in particular to ensure that data contained therein are credible and secured, and that donors may be found as fast as possible for persons in need of a bone marrow transplant.
The decentralised storage of the personal data of the donors (by centres for bone marrow donors that collect their applications) would lead to a situation where the same person might be registered multiple times, and additionally this would hinder access to the donors in the case of closing down a centre for bone marrow donors or any disruption in the functioning thereof.
An application to the register is voluntary, and data contained therein may be corrected and crossed out. Moreover, the register is subject to requirements set out in the Personal Data Protection Act. Hitherto, inspections have not revealed any threats to the security of information contained in the register.
A minister competent for health care and the National Transplantation Council do not need full systematic access to all data of potential bone marrow donors to carry out their statutory tasks.
In no way do they participate in the process of selecting a donor for a given recipient (such tasks are carried out comprehensively by Poltransplant and centres for bone marrow donors), and they only supervise (the Minister of Health) or provide opinions (the National Transplantation Council) on the functioning of that system. Also, the said organs have no procedures for handling information obtained about donors.
The hearing was presided over by Judge Sławomira Wronkowska-Jaśkiewicz, and the Judge Rapporteur was Judge Wojciech Hermeliński.