Health insurance companies may not permanently save the insured person's photo

Health insurance companies may not permanently save the insured person's photo

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BSG requests deletion after the health card has been produced

After producing an "electronic health card", the health insurance companies must delete the photo used for this. The previous permanent storage violates data protection law without the consent of the insured, ruled on Tuesday, December 18, 2018, the Federal Social Court (BSG) in Kassel (file number: B 1 KR 31/17).

The electronic health cards have been issued by health insurance companies since 2013. Their use has been compulsory since the beginning of 2014, and the service providers have not been allowed to recognize other evidence since 2015. The cards have a photo of the insured person and a memory chip. So far, only the same “master data” that was previously printed on the card has been stored on it, including name, date of birth, address and gender. In the future, further data is also to be stored, such as the blood group, allergies and other important diseases.

The photos are especially intended to prevent misuse. So far, the health insurance companies routinely save it until the end of the insurance relationship and also use it for later or replacement cards.

A member of the Techniker Krankenkasse saw that the right to informational self-determination was violated. With his lawsuit, he finally asked for the photo to be deleted after the card had been produced.

The Techniker Krankenkasse said that the photos were saved securely and data protection was guaranteed. Deletion would result in unnecessary costs. Around 10,000 photos would already be sent to the cash register every day. These include funny pictures, for example with a teddy bear or a penguin. The photos would therefore always have to be checked and technically processed.

In contrast to the previous instances, the BSG rated data protection higher. In any case, without the consent of the insured, the data protection regulations allow processing and storage of personal data and thus also the photo only for the specific purpose in question - in this case, the production of the health card. After that, the health insurance companies would have to delete the photo.

The BSG had already decided on November 18, 2014 that the insured had to provide the health insurance companies with a photo (ref .: B 1 KR 35/13 R; JurAgentur report from the judgment day). The photo was "suitable and necessary to counter misuse". mwo / fle

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