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TGS Baltic has successfully represented interests of a clinic providing private gynaecology services in litigation against the State Tax Inspectorate (the STI) after the latter ordered to prepare patients’ health files for a period of 3 years for tax inspection purposes. Objecting to such an order, the clinic addressed the court, requesting to cancel the order of the STI.
The Clinic did not agree to present these patients’ health files to the STI, as data about a patient’s health is data of a special category, related to a person’s private life, therefore its disclosure without the patient’s consent is possible only in exceptional cases indicated in legal acts. Besides, this data is exceptionally of medical character, not related to taxation issues, therefore, it is not necessary for the purposes of the tax inspection.
The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania has sustained the complaint of the clinic and cancelled the said order of the STI to present the said patients’ data. The court noted that such an order of the STI, related to processing of patients’ personal data of a special category (about health), was inadequate and its scope exceeded the goals, for which such data was collected and would be subsequently processed. The court also noted that data about third parties’ health was not directly related to the tax inspection being performed and was not necessary in order that the STI could correctly exercise its powers, i.e. to perform a tax inspection.
We hope that this judicial process created a new precedent that such instructions of the tax administrator to present particularly sensitive personal health data of patients are disproportionate and unnecessary for implementation of tax inspection purposes.
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