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Privacy law tightened after data scandal

Privacy law tightened after data scandal

by YL 11.11.2020 From our online archive
In future, government will only get access to the data it strictly needs, minister says
Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

New legislation presented on Wednesday should regulate more clearly what data the government is allowed to examine after an outcry over an illegal database used by the police.

The law will set detail what information the government is allowed to look at, for instance when interviewing people for a job, Justice Minister Sam Tanson said in Parliament on Wednesday.

A scandal broke out last year when when a person was refused for a job because of an entry in a data base when he applied at the state prosecutor’s office, despite the fact that his criminal record was clean.

The new law is meant to remedy such casses and will give the government proportional access to data, Tanson said. The government can only get access of data it strictly needs. Beyond a basic criminal record, some further checks might be needed for positions in public administration. 

Background checks for arms purchases will be more thorough as well. In those cases, the state can trace acts of violence that happened more than five years ago, including those that did not lead to any conviction. Lastly, people wishing to adopt children would be subject to more scrutiny.

Overall, there will be three degrees of control, Tanson said.

In a so-called non-intrusive check, authorities only have access to a person's criminal record. A semi-intrusive check will allow additional access to misdemeanours and older crimes, while the intrusive check will enable authorities too look at criminal proceedings that are still in progress, dismissed cases and cold cases.

The so-called fichier central includes all reports compiled by the police which are used in criminal investigations - including details not only on suspects, but also on victims and witnesses.

It exists in parallel to the criminal record, which holds information only in case somebody is convicted.

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