19 October 2016
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"Ms Vukota-Bojiæ had been involved in a road traffic accident, and subsequently requested a disability pension. Following a dispute with her insurer on the amount of disability pension and years of litigation later, her insurer requested that she undergo a fresh medical examination, in order to establish additional evidence about her condition. When she refused, the insurer hired private investigators to conduct secret surveillance of her. The evidence that they obtained was used in subsequent court proceedings, which resulted in a reduction of Ms Vukota-Bojiæ’s benefits. She complained that the surveillance had been in breach of her right to respect for private life, and that it should not have been admitted in the proceedings.
The Court held that the insurer’s actions engaged state liability under the Convention, since the respondent insurance company was regarded as a public authority under Swiss law. It also held that the secret surveillance ordered had interfered with Ms Vukota-Bojiæ’s private life, even though it had been carried out in public places, since the investigators had collected and stored data in a systematic way and had used it for a specific purpose. Furthermore, the surveillance had not been prescribed by law, since provisions of Swiss law on which it had been based were insufficiently precise. In particular, they had failed to regulate with clarity when and for how long surveillance could be conducted, and how data obtained by surveillance should be stored and accessed. There had therefore been a violation of Article 8."
See the full text: Unlawful surveillance by an insurance company of a road accident victim breached her right to privacy (pdf)
And the judgment: Case of Vukota-Bojic v. Switzerland (application number 61838/10, pdf)
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