Personal law deals with various personal rights and obligations which are closely related to the individual's mental and physical existence, such as the inviolability of one's person and the right to life, freedom, honour etc. Many of these rights are protected by law and violations are punishable under criminal law or subject to rules of tort.
The main rules of personal law are found in the Act on Legal Competence. Examples of other personal rights are the right to one's name, inheritance rights and personal data protection.
Personal Data Protection
The concept of personal data protection refers in essence to the rights of individuals regarding the treatment of their personal data. At the core of personal data protection is the right to privacy and the right to control one's own personal data. Enjoying the right to privacy concerning one's private life, e.g. with regard to the treatment of personal data, is a basic human right, which is protected under the Icelandic Constitution and also in human rights conventions. The Ministry of Justice is ultimately responsible for matters concerning personal data protection, such as the introduction and overseeing of the relevant legislative framework.
The Act on the Protection of Privacy as regards the Processing of Personal Data is intended to promote handling of personal data in accordance with the basic principles and rules of personal data protection and the right to privacy. The Act is also intended to ensure the reliability and quality of such information and its free flow within the single market of the European Economic Area (EEA).
The Data Protection Authority is an independent institution which supervises the implementation of the Act on the Protection of Privacy as regards the Processing of Personal Data and rules adopted on its basis.