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Privacy forbids sharing info on chemicals, arms, etc. with ambulance/police?

Over the last ten days two people told me about emergency situations in which the rescue team (police, ambulance, firemen) were not informed about dangerous aspects of the place where they were going because privacy did not allow sharing of relevant information.

One situation was about ambulance people not being informed about the presence of loads of ammunition and arms in a house. The police knew, but was not allowed to share this info. Another situation about police men going to a place not being informed about dangerous chemicals. Firemen knew, but were not allowed to share this information. And several other related stories. The people who told me said the information could not be shared for reasons of privacy.

I must admit I was shocked to hear this. I trust the sources, but I will ask someone to further analyze this. If it is true, there are two possible explanations. One is poorly drafted national law, not allowing to share this relevant information. Another is that people who could have shared the information but did not , do not understand privacy.

I cannot think of an argument based on either Article 8 ECHR (privacy), Article 7 EU Charter (privacy), or Article 8 EU Charter (data protection) that could outweigh the argument that the information is crucial to the emergency services because not sharing this information would expose them to unnecessary danger. But existing law is sometimes different from what your legal feeling tells you. A good reason to change the law, but let’s wait for the further analysis before taking necessary steps to bring law in line with the fundamental rights of privacy and data protection.



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