Hungarian Big Brother Award for Data Protection Commissioner

By EDRi · December 2, 2004

During the Big Brother Awards ceremony in Budapest, Hungary on 25 November 2004, the People’s Award was presented to the Data Protection Commissioner, Attila Péterfalvi. He was chosen with a large majority of 917 votes (39,8%) from 2.342 valid votes. He was given the negative price for making official statements that could erode the Hungarian privacy culture, including a statement that it was right from a legal point of view to install CCTVs in fitting rooms. Acting like a good sport, Péterfalvi joined the ceremony and received the award. But earlier, he had sent an official letter from the Hungarian Data Protection Agency warning the Hungarian organisers that he would ask Privacy International to erase them from the list of official Big Brother Award organisers.

The Ministry of Employment and Labour won a Big Brother Award for its project EMMA (Egységes Munkaügyi Nyilvántartás). It is a centralised database containing personal information about every Hungarian employee, without any purpose that would make it justifiable under constitutional privacy protection.

Another award was given to the publisher of the Hungarian Official Gazette. If you wish to look at the most recent legislation online, you have to register and inform them about your name, postal address and telephone number. The jury of the Hungarian Big Brother Awards finds this practice unjustifiable, since every piece of information published on the web site of the Publisher of Hungarian Official Gazette should be accessible without any restriction for everybody.

Finally Mihály Ficsor, vice-president of the Hungarian Patent office won an award for personally supporting the European Software Patent.

Some pictures of the BBA ceremony (25.11.2004)