Magazine “Current Issues of Business and Law” published an article by Mari Männiko “Is impersonalization of personal data of parties in civil proceedings necessary and lawful?” (in cooperation with Paulius Galubickas, Andis Burkevics).
The topic of conflict between privacy rights and other civil rights has become crucial issue in many fields, especially when it comes to interpretation of substance of compelling civil rights. The rapid growth of information technologies and the notion and availability of the right to information has influenced the understanding of the initial concept of the right to privacy. What was exclusive ten years ago is available to general public nowadays.
This article questions the grounds for and reasons of the conflict between public hearing and free speech and the opposing right to privacy. We analyze different practices of three Baltic States and European court institutions and question the reasons for impersonalization of personal data in court judgments. We ask if the meaning of public hearing is vague by erasing or covering the personal data of parties in legal proceedings which are available for the public. If there is a possibility to hold trials in camera, should it guarantee protection of individuals in disputes about delicate matters? Is additional possibility to impersonalize parties to proceedings in civil disputes necessary? Has the availability of judgments in the Internet widened the concept of public hearing and does an individual need an extra means for protecting his or her privacy?