In its decision of April 16, 2021, GZ: 2021-0.258.447, the data protection authority had to deal with a complaint against a real estate trustee due to a violation of the right to erasure.
The complainant had requested the deletion of his data several times, as he did not want to receive any further mailings from the respondent. The respondent changed his name in its personal database to Max Mustermann, replaced his address with a placeholder, added a note to the address stating that it was no longer necessary to obtain an extract from the land register for this property and deleted all correspondence with him. However, the respondent wrote to the complainant again with the purpose of acquiring real estate.
The GDPR does not contain a definition of erasure within the meaning of Article 17 of the GDPR and the removal of the personal reference can in principle be considered as a means of erasure, but identifiability must be excluded even with the use of additional means (see recital 26 of the GDPR). This was not the case in this case, as the reference to the person could be re-established by means of a land register query. Moreover, the data protection authority found the repeated contacting for the purpose of property acquisition to be unlawful in light of its case law, which is why the facts of Art. 17 Par. lit. d GDPR was to be considered fulfilled and the complaint was upheld. The decision is not legally binding.