MIL-OSI Translation: 29th activity report 2021/2022: lack of consideration for the private sphere

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MIL OSI Translation. Government of the Republic of France statements from French to English –

Source: Switzerland – Federal Chancellery

Federal Data Protection and Transparency Commissioner

Bern, 28.06.2022 – In his activity report published today, the Commissioner notes that indifference to the protection of citizens’ data has become widespread and that the private sphere is an increasingly devalued notion. This development is confirmed both by the accumulation of failures in the processing of sensitive personal data by health platforms and by the tendency, now observed in Europe as well, to discredit the right of the population to encrypt their data in calling it an abuse of freedom.

The Commissioner published today his activity report for the period from 01.04.2021 to 31.03.2022. The fight against COVID continued during the year under review to severely restrict the freedom and privacy of the population. From a data protection perspective, however, digital Switzerland has achieved strong esteem thanks to the SwissCovid app and the COVID certificate, including in its light version. The decentralized and data-efficient design of these tools has prevented citizens’ data from being transmitted to the federal administration. The Confederation will be able to use the recipe for this technological success to apply it to the future means of electronic identification (E-ID) recognized by the State.

Health platforms in the hot seat

At the same time, digital Switzerland is healing the wounds opened by technical and organizational failures that have affected the operation of certain contact tracing applications or the management of several vaccination, organ donation or breast implant registers. After investigative journalists revealed shocking security vulnerabilities, the FDPIC’s monitoring procedures revealed other shortcomings, particularly with regard to the quality of the personal data processed. With regard to the vaccination data of some 300,000 people who had been processed by the mesvaccins.ch foundation, which has since been liquidated, a state attempt to save these data was initiated after the Commissioner had initially recommended that they be destroyed. This decision comes about ten months after the FDPIC published a full report on the case.

The right to encrypt your data assimilated to an abuse of freedom

The FDPIC notes with concern that governments and security authorities in Europe are now also asking for preventive access to the individual communications of their populations. The content of messaging applications and e-mails, including images, could thus be controlled by the public authorities, without it being necessary to seek prior judicial authorization for this purpose. As often, this direct attack on the privacy of citizens is justified by the fight against terrorism and pedocrime. To enforce their vision of widespread surveillance, its proponents want to prohibit individuals from effectively encrypting their one-to-one communications against anyone – a move the Attendant rejects. It reminds us that crime is inherent in society. Citizens who oppose the self-incriminating interests of the authorities by using, for whatever reason, encryption software, cannot be accused by the rule of law of abusing their freedom.

Implementation of the principle of transparency which is becoming more complicated

With regard to the implementation of the principle of transparency, the FDPIC continues to register an increasing number of requests for access and requests for mediation, which makes it difficult to meet legal deadlines given the delays attributable to the pandemic. . Added to this is a newly perceptible tendency in certain parts of the administration, which consists in complicating the mediation procedure before the FDPIC with formal objections, which further complicates the recovery of accumulated delays.

Florence Henguely new deputy of the PFPDT

The PFPDT has appointed Florence Henguely, currently data protection officer for the canton of Fribourg, as an alternate. Born in 1983, Ms. Henguely has a master’s degree in law from the University of Fribourg. The French-speaking jurist is expected to take up her new position as deputy of the PFPDT and head of the information technology and business management management area on October 1, 2022.

For the attention of the media:

Clerk Adrian Lobsiger, Head of the International Relations Directorate Caroline Gloor Scheidegger and Deputy of the Data Protection Directorate Sophie Haag are available to the media for interviews. Interview requests should be sent in advance of the press conference at the following address: info@edoeb.admin.ch

Address for sending questions

Federal Data Protection and Transparency Commissioner (FDPIC), Tel. 41 58 464 94 10, info@edoeb.admin.ch

Author

Federal Data Protection and Transparency Commissionerhttps://www.edoeb.admin.ch/edoeb/en/home.html

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure not be perfect.

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