Praxis Watch

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Illegal Processing of Personal Data of the Residents of Social Housing and Container Settlements

Secretariat for Social Welfare of the City of Belgrade – Department for resettlement of unhygienic settlements and social housing illegally process personal data of the Roma residing in social housing and container settlements formed after the forced evictions.

Praxis, other national and international organizations, as well as the Ombudsperson, regularly receive letters from the the Secretariat for Social Welfare, which, according to the Law on Protection of Personal Data, contain particularly sensitive personal data of the residents of container settlements and social housing which the Secretariat specifies in these letters (names and surnames, unique personal identification numbers and other personal data of the residents) for the purpose of “regular notification about the families from the newly formed settlements and social housing, which, despite the great efforts that the City invests into the improvement of the position of Roma, reject to adapt to better living conditions but disturb other families who want to have a normal life”.

At the beginning of September 2013, Praxis reported to the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection against the Belgrade City Administration for illegal processing of personal data. Within the surveillance that was conducted, the Commissioner determined that the number and type of data to be processed is not in proportion with the purpose of the processing, which means that this processing is unlawful based on the Article 8, Item 7 of the Law on Personal Data Protection. Therefore, the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection warned the Secretariat for Social Welfare of the City of Belgrade that it is unlawful to process such data and gave the deadline of 15 days for the elimination of identified irregularities from the day of receiving the warning of the Commissioner.

It remains unclear why the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection did not prohibit the further processing of personal data to the Secretariat for Social Welfare of the City of Belgrade and order the deletion of data collected without the legal grounds.

For more information, see the announcement: Belgrade City Administration Illegally Processed Personal Data of the Residents of Social Housing and Container Settlements

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