The principle of proportionality and the fundamental right to personal data protection : the biometric data processing

1 Professor of Constitutional Law and PhD in Law in Bolonia University (summa cum laude). Antonio Troncoso Reigada. Director of the Data Protection Agency of the Region of Madrid 2001-2010, appointed unanimously by all political and trade union groups of the Region of Madrid. He is author of the book La protección de datos personales. En busca del equilibrio, Tirant lo blanch, Valencia, 2010. He was honoured with the “Nicolás Pérez Serrano Award” for the best doctoral thesis of Public Law. First National Award for finishing his college studies. He has been the Director General of Services Quality and of the Institute for Statistics of the Region of Madrid, in the Ruiz Gallardón Government. He has been Director of the Technical Office of the Subsecretary of the Spanish Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs.


L'article aborde les limites du droit à la protection des données personnelles, en considérant le principe de proportionnalité. Il analyse le besoin d'accessibilité et la règle de prédictibilité, le but légitime, en s'attardant sur la priorité donnée à la liberté d'information par rapport à la protection des données personnelles. L'article se penche également sur le principe de proportionnalité et la recherche d'équilibre. Le premier peut se diviser en trois sous-principes : la justesse, la nécessité et la proportionnalité dans le sens strict du terme. L'article explique un cas de limite du droit fondamental à la protection personnelle : le traitement des données biométriques. Il analyse également la donnée briométrique et le droit à l'intégrité physique, la protection de la vie privée, en s'attardant sur les principes de qualité.


The article discusses the limits to the right to personal data protection, especially considering the principle of proportionality. It analyzes the need for accessibility and predictability rule, the legitimate purpose, paying special attention to the preference of freedom of information over the protection of personal data. In particular, the article analyzes the principle of proportionality and the need to search for balance. The principle of proportionality can be sub-divided into three sub-principles: appropriateness, Necessity and proportionality in the strict sense. The article explains a case of limitation of the fundamental right to personal data protection: the processing of biometric data. It also analyzes the Biometric data processing and the right to physical integrity, bodily privacy and personal data protection, paying special attention to the principles of quality.

Recommended citation

Antonio Troncoso Reigada, «The principle of proportionality and the fundamental right to personal data protection : the biometric data processing», (2012) 17-2 Lex Electronica Available at:


© Antonio Troncoso Reigada

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