Big brother awards presented in Hungary

By EDRi · November 19, 2003

On 6 November the Hungarian Big Brother Awards were presented to the
police office of Budapest, to the small company Szabo Gardentechnics and
to the under-secretary of the ministry of internal affairs. With the Big
Brother Awards governments, companies and people are named and shamed for
large scale privacy invasions.

The Budapest police earned the detested award by examining the identity
papers of drug addicts that applied for free disposable needles. The
Hungarian Data Protection Commissioner explained that the police didn’t
have a general right to go into the trailer of the Baptists (where the
needles were distributed). They could only enter in hot pursuit of a
criminal or to prevent someone from committing a crime. The Budapest
police was also reproached for needlessly searching young men and women in
the street – in name of the fight against drug abuse.

The owner of the small company Szabó Kerttechnika won the award for using
the CCTV system for total surveillance of his employees in the office and
in other rooms. The video’s were stored for more than a week. A personal
award was presented to Dr. Zoltán Tóth (under-secretary of the ministry of
internal affairs. He backed the idea of a universal chip-card that would
store three different kinds of personal identification numbers. Though the
Hungarian parliament rejected this proposal, the jury wanted to warn
against the fundamental privacy-invasion of the idea.

Pictures of the presentation in Budapest (06.11.2003)

Schedule worldwide Big Brother Awards

(Thanks to Dr. Zoltan Galantai, associate professor Budapest University of
Technology and Economics)