Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission
The Commission is concerned by the publication of names, photographs and other data of prostitutes, who were infected by HIV, in Greece. Such publications can affect the fundamental rights of the persons concerned as they are stigmatised, more specifically the fundamental right to the protection of personal data as enshrined in Article 8 of the Fundamental Rights Charter of the Union. Photographs and health status are personal data which are protected by the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC. The directive obliges Member States to prohibit the processing of specific sensitive data such as the mentioned. However, the processing of sensitive data can be permitted in specific cases, inter alia, for reasons of substantial public interest laid down by law or by a decision of the supervisory authority subject to suitable safeguards being provided. Without prejudice to the powers of the Commission as the guardian of the Treaties, the supervision and enforcement of data protection in the Member States however falls under the competence of their national authorities, in particular data protection supervisory authorities. Nonetheless the Commission will monitor the situation in Greece and contact the national Data Protection Authority in order to receive additional information.