Transparency for institutions, privacy for the people

Much has been said about abuses of personal data by platforms like Facebook and other private companies. However, there is little observation of non-compliance by public administrations or institutions such as the policies undermining the privacy of the public and the small (or large) daily abuses people are subject to.

Much has been said about abuses of personal data by platforms like Facebook and other private companies. However, there is little observation of non-compliance by public administrations or institutions such as the policies undermining the privacy of the public and the small (or large) daily abuses people are subject to.

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EDRi’s member Xnet identifies two basic central threads to ensure “Transparency for institutions; privacy for the people”:

  • In many countries, the principle of minimization is not applied in most of the daily relations between the administration and the citizens. Countries like Spain, for instance, create the possibility for all kinds of arbitrariness and abuses, considering the lack of clarity about what “legitimate interests” in the data field are and of attempts to detail them and open a discussion on the matter. This formula is used when there are no solid or sufficient justified legal grounds. Out of respect for the rights, freedoms and interests of the people, it should not be possible to use such one-size-fits-all excuses that result in invalidating the spirit of the regulations. The “legitimate interests” that a company or institution deems necessary must not prevail over the rights and interests of the people. We want to guarantee the principle of privacy by design and by default.
  • On the other hand, data protection cannot be an excuse to limit the right to information and the fight against corruption and abuses. For journalists and anti-corruption activists, these excuses are the walls we encounter daily.

Read Xnet’s report on “Privacy and Data Protection against Institutionalised Abuses” here.

(Contribution by: EDRi member Xnet)