The Ministry of Justice has granted the partial pardon and therefore will prevent the entry into prison of a nurse of the Navarro Health Service-Osasunbidea what had been condemned by the Second Section of the Navarrese Court to 3 years and 9 months in prison for a continuing crime of discovery of secrets after having accessed the medical records of several peopleincluding that of his ex-partner.
The events were committed between 2006 and 2011 and the Court, in a conviction confirmed by the Supreme Court, already contemplated that, given the circumstances of the case, it was reported in favor of the defendant’s pardon. She was sentenced to a fine of 23 months at a rate of 8 euros per day, disqualification for 10 years and 6 months, and compensation of 2,500 euros to each of the four injured parties. The Ministry justifies the decision on the fact that, taking into account the circumstances of the sentenced person and according to the information in the file, there are reasons of equity and justice to grant the pardon.
The nurse was hired as a staff by the Navarra Health Service and, “aware of the confidentiality commitment she had contracted, says the ruling, “took advantage of her profession and accessed eleven times (between 2007 and 2011) the medical history of his ex-partner, with whom he was married for twelve years, his ex-brother-in-law, a friend (current partner of the ex) and her son”.
Most of the improper accesses occurred while they were married, since the relationship was maintained until 2010, but the Chamber says that “not even the existing family relationships could justify by themselves the accesses made to their respective medical records, given the very personal nature of the right to computer freedom of each one of them, as well as the lack of consent of the owners”.
The court does understand that, as a result of an eye injury suffered by her ex in 2006, since he went in person to the health center where she worked for treatment, something ratified by her co-workers, that access to her data during that specific date was “tacitly consented” by his ex. She began to be investigated as a result of the complaint against her by her ex-brother-in-law in which she said that she was a drug addict and her private prosecution suspected as a result of that episode of a possible illegal access to her file.
According to the ruling, the transcendence and objective importance of personal data does not matter and therefore it is not possible to differentiate, for protection purposes, between relevant to privacy, and therefore susceptible to protection, and “harmless” data due to its scant significance.