chapter  10
10 Pages

The Eighth Principle

The view of the Information Commissioner in the 2000 guidance is that the

publication of personal data on a website will almost certainly involve transfer to

countries outside the UK, 3

although there is a problem in that the transfer does not

take place until the web pages are accessed from a transferee country. However, since

the European Court of Justice (ECJ) decision in the Lindqvist 4

case it is arguable

whether or not the publication of personal data on a website constitutes a transfer. Mrs

Lindqvist was an active church parishioner in Sweden. To disseminate information of

interest to other parishioners, Mrs Lindqvist set up an Internet website. Included on

the website were personal details relating to fellow parishioners and Mrs Lindqvist was

found to be processing personal data in breach of Swedish data protection law. One of

the points in issue was whether or not the publication of personal data on the website

a worldwide transfer. The ECJ held that publishing personal

the website did not amount to a worldwide transfer; it would be a transfer only if the

information was sent to Internet users who did not intentionally seek access to the

website pages. Most authorities think this decision is wrong and it should be treated as

an aberration.