Frequently Asked Questions as clarified by the Office of the Commissioner for Personal Data Protection in relation to COVID-19

The Department of the Commissioner for Personal Data Protection has issued a Frequently Asked Questions document about COVID-19 measures and the protection of personal data which can be accessed in Greek here.

An unofficial translation can be seen below as follows:

  1. Does the employer have the right to ask me for an original or a copy of a certificate that I have for rapid/antigen test or PCR or for Covid-19 illness or vaccination?

I must only inform the employer that I have been tested as well as the result, for him to draw up the weekly program that he must follow, based on the relevant Decrees.

Also, if I wish to be exempted from undergoing the test, based on the weekly schedule, I must inform the employer that I have a medical certificate of illness with COVID-19 within the last 6 months or a vaccination certificate.

 

  1. Who is responsible for verifying the certificate I hold at the workplace?

In the workplace, the certificate I hold can be checked on a sample basis by:

  • The Company’s Safety Officer, for purposes of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1996, Law 89 (I) / 1996, as amended.
  • Inspectors of the Department of Labor Inspection, based on the legislation of the Department.
  • Officers authorized under the Decree dated 08/05/2021.
  • Officials who have such authority under special legislation.
  • Police officers.

 

  1. Can my employer force me to get vaccinated or let them know that I have been vaccinated?

No. However, if I wish to be exempted from the obligation to take a test, based on the weekly schedule, I must inform the employer that I have a vaccination certificate.

 

  1. When I go to a cafe, restaurant or hotel, do I have to show the certificate I have to the person in charge of the place?

The site manager can only ask me if I have a certificate and its type. However, if I undergo a sampling test by an authorized Officer or Police Officer, then I must demonstrate it.

 

  1. Who has the authority to control the certificate I hold, in restaurants, shopping malls, retail stores over 500 sq.m., tourist accommodation, stadiums, cafes, etc.?

Checks on a sample basis in these businesses can be carried out by Officers authorized under the Decree dated 08/05/2021, depending on their field of activity, as well as Police Officers.

 

  1. How can I be sure that the person conducting the sampling is an authorized Officer or Police Officer?

I can ask him to show me his police or service ID.

 

  1. Is the display of the certificate I hold classified as personal data processing?

The mere presentation of the certificate to an authorized officer or police officer in the context of control, which does NOT require the recording or registration of any information in an electronic or printed archiving system, does NOT constitute processing of personal data.

 

  1. When is it allowed to record items listed on a certificate I hold?

Only when issuing an extrajudicial fine.

 

  1. Does the demonstration of the certificate to an authorized Officer or Police Officer violate medical confidentiality?

Medical confidentiality is violated when a doctor discloses his patient’s health data to an unauthorized person. Cases of control, where I must present the certificate I hold, for compliance with the relevant Decrees or the relevant laws, do not constitute a violation of my medical confidentiality.

 

  1. What is the role of the Commissioner’s Office concerning the constitutionality of the Decrees?

The examination of the constitutionality of the Decrees does not concern the Office of the Commissioner. The responsibilities of the Office are limited to ensuring that the processing of personal data involved in a Decree is proportionate to the intended purpose and under the legislation on the protection of personal data.

 

  1. Have other countries implemented similar measures for the lifting of movement restrictions on the basis of possession and presentation of certificates?

Similar measures have been implemented in countries such as Denmark, Israel, and Estonia, and similar measures are intended to be taken by the United Kingdom and other countries.

 

  1. Does the announcement of mortality cases from vaccination violate the law on personal data?

The General Data Protection Regulation applies only to living persons. Information about the deceased is not personal data.

 

  1. In schools, who is responsible for checking whether students hold a rapid test or PCR certificate?

According to the relevant Instructions of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth, date 07/05/2021, who consulted with the Office of the Commissioner, the control is carried out by the Chairman of the Safety and Health Committee of the school and teachers authorized by the Director. Certificates are not collected or photocopied.

 

  1. In schools, who is responsible for checking whether teachers hold a rapid test or PCR certificate?

The management of the school unit.

 

  1. What is the Digital Green Pass?

A Regulation of the European Union adopting the Digital Green Pass will be adopted soon. These Certificates will facilitate the movement of Union citizens traveling from one Member State to another. If I have a certificate for rapid test or PCR or have been through COVID-19 illness or have undergone vaccination, I will be able to download it to my device or print the Digital Green Certificate, in QR Code format. At the entry/exit points of ports and airports, there will be devices that will read the QR Code and confirm its authenticity, so that I can travel.

 

  1. If I do not have a Digital Green Certificate, will I be able to travel?

However, I will have to check the certificates that the destination country requires me to hold.

 

  1. Will I be able to use the Digital Green Certificate in the country of destination?

No, unless required by the national law of the country of destination.

 

  1. Is the Office of the Commissioner involved in the adoption of this Regulation?

The Commissioner, as a Member of the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), participated in the Public Opinion of the EDPB and the European Supervisor, to the European Commission, on the Proposal for a Regulation on the Digital Green Certificate.

Also, if the competent Ministry intends to enact legislation that will remove internal restrictions on the use of the Digital Green Certificate, an impact assessment should be carried out and submitted to the Commissioner’s Office for prior consultation.

 

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