Can the bank and credit card transactions of the employee be examined by the Employer without the prior consent of the Employee?

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INFORMATION ON THE DECISION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT ON THE LACK OF AN EFFECTIVE INVESTIGATION IN THE CRIMINAL COMPLAINT FILED BY THE EMPLOYEE AGAINST THE EMPLOYER WHO EXAMINED THE EMPLOYEE’S BANK AND CREDIT CARD ACCOUNT MOVEMENTS WITHOUT PERMISSION

In the subject matter to the decision of the Constitutional Court dated 13.02.2024 and numbered 2020/36976, the applicant (the ” Employee “) filed a criminal complaint for ” Unlawful Acquisition of Personal Data “, claiming that the employer (the “Employer”). “), who terminated his employment contract, checked his account movements without his knowledge and consent in order not to pay his wages. The Employee claimed that he was accused by the Employer of using his authority to obtain unfair benefits, and that his bank and credit card account activity was therefore investigated by the Employer.

The Employee stated that the Employer identified and called the people with whom the Employee had exchanged money from the account movements and asked them for what purpose they had transferred money. The Employee also argued that the Employer had also filed a criminal complaint against him and that in the complaint he had requested an audit of an account transaction belonging to the Employee, specifying the name of the bank, the amount and the date, and that it It was not possible for the Employer to know these details without access to information about him.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office stated that there was no evidence of the commission of the alleged crime other than the abstract statement of the Employee and decided that there were no grounds for prosecution. In the reasoning of the decision; It is stated that the disclosure of personal data to others only through the sensory organs does not constitute the crime of unlawful acquisition of personal data, but if there are conditions, the crime of violation of privacy of private life can be evaluated.

In the application to the Constitutional Court, the Employee stated that the decision was not to be prosecuted in accordance with the law, because his request to write to the banks regarding the case was not taken into consideration and his witness was not heard.

The Constitutional Court reached the following conclusions:

The Employee’s claim that his right to the protection of personal data has been violated is admissible,
Bank and credit card account activities are accepted as personal information,
In accordance with Article 20 of the Constitution, everyone has the right to request the protection of personal data concerning him or her, and this right includes the right to be informed of personal data concerning him or her, to have access to such data, to request its correction or deletion, and to know whether it is being used for the purposes intended,
The State has an obligation not only not to arbitrarily interfere with the right of individuals to protect their personal data, but also to prevent attacks by third parties,
It cannot be said that the Employee is provided with an effective legal mechanism through which he can present his claims and evidence, and therefore the positive procedural obligation is fulfilled,
For the abovementioned reasons, it is concluded that the right to demand the protection of personal data has been violated in the context of the right to respect for private life guaranteed by Article 20 of the Constitution.