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Hungary: European Data Protection Supervisor - Guidance on Return to the Workplace and EUIs’ Screening of Covid Immunity or Infection Status

Hungary: European Data Protection Supervisor

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The European Data Protection Supervisor (“EDPS”) has issued a guidance document entitled “Return to the Workplace and EUI’s (European Institutions, Agencies and Bodies) screening of Covid immunity or infection status” (the “Guidance”).

Basically, the Guidance is to be applied by the EUIs; however, its findings might also be relevant for other employers.

Personal data regarding Covid-19 vaccines

In the view of the EDPS, as long as Covid-19 vaccinations are not obligatory in the EU, processing of employees’ vaccination-related personal data is neither necessary nor proportional. It is also not obvious whether this kind of data processing has an appropriate legal basis. Accordingly, the Guidance recommends that employers avoid collecting and processing employees’ personal data in regard to vaccination status, irrespective of whether providing this data is voluntary or obligatory.

However, the Guidance does not preclude processing of aggregated health data (e.g. for the purpose of preparing a risk assessment), provided that this data is anonymized.

This approach is consistent with the practice of the Hungarian Data Protection Authority (“Authority”) in regard to processing the Covid immunity status of employees as elaborated on in the guidance issued by the Authority on 1 April 2021.

Antigen test required by employers

In connection with data processing related to antigen tests, the Guidance states that introducing obligatory antigen tests may be considered necessary and proportional only in exceptional cases, such as exposed positions or in situations where the health and safety work conditions cannot be ensured by less invasive measures (e.g. social distancing and use of masks).

Use of EU digital Covid certificates

The essential function of EU digital Covid certificates is to ensure freedom of movement within the EU. The Guidance also provides that using the EU digital Covid certificate for other purposes requires explicit authorization under national law. In accordance with the Guidance, EUIs can only use EU digital Covid certificates  if the purpose for which the data processing is intended cannot be achieved through a less invasive measure.

By Edina Czegledy, Counsel, and Laura Lukacs, Legal Advisor, Noerr

Hungary Knowledge Partner

Nagy és Trócsányi was founded in 1991, turned into limited professional partnership (in Hungarian: ügyvédi iroda) in 1992, with the aim of offering sophisticated legal services. The firm continues to seek excellence in a comprehensive and modern practice, which spans international commercial and business law. 

The firm’s lawyers provide clients with advice and representation in an active, thoughtful and ethical manner, with a real understanding of clients‘ business needs and the markets in which they operate.

The firm is one of the largest home-grown independent law firms in Hungary. Currently Nagy és Trócsányi has 26 lawyers out of which there are 8 active partners. All partners are equity partners.

Nagy és Trócsányi is a legal entity and registered with the Budapest Bar Association. All lawyers of the Budapest office are either members of, or registered as clerks with, the Budapest Bar Association. Several of the firm’s lawyers are admitted attorneys or registered as legal consultants in New York.

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The firm advises a broad range of clients, including numerous multinational corporations. Among our key clients are: OTP Bank, Sberbank, Erste Bank, Scania, KS ORKA, Mannvit, DAF Trucks, Booking.com, Museum of Fine Arts of Budapest, Hungarian Post Pte Ltd, Hiventures, Strabag, CPI Hungary, Givaudan, Marks & Spencer, CBA.

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