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Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg Data Protection and Freedom of Information – two prerequisites for.

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Präsentation zum Thema: "Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg Data Protection and Freedom of Information – two prerequisites for."—  Präsentation transkript:

1 Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg Data Protection and Freedom of Information – two prerequisites for democratic states Dr. Alexander Dix, LL.M. Commissioner for Data Protection and Access to Information Brandenburg Statement 4th International Conference on Information Society and 9th International IST Trade Fair INFOBALT October 21-26, 2002 Vilnius, Lithuania

2 Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg Main Points Privacy protection and FOI: Two sides of the same coin Issues of balance Accession to the EU Situation in Germany Regulatory models and future developments Links

3 Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg Privacy and FOI in Europe Data protection (Art. 8 and 41 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights) and Freedom of information (Art. 42 of the Charter) are both fundamental rights in Europe and part of the acquis communautaire

4 Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg The right to good administration Every person has the right to have his or her affairs handled impartially, fairly and within a reasonable time by the institutions and bodies of the Union. This right includes:...- the right of every person to have access to his or her file, while respecting the legitimate interests of confidentiality and of professional and business secrecy;... (Art. 41 of the Charter)

5 Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg Two sides of the same coin (I) „The shared purpose of data protection and freedom of information is to continue maintaining the non-transparency of citizens in a world that has undergone the information revolution while rendering the state transparent.“ László Majtényi, First Hungarian Parliamentary Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information

6 Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg Two sides of the same coin (II) Data Protection and Freedom of Information both aim at checking and limiting the power of public authorities which process citizens‘ data and at increasing individual freedom.

7 Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg Differences (I) Data Protection also applies to private data controllers FOI almost exclusively applies to the public sector (exception: South Africa) But: Recent moves to increase transparency in the private sector (U.S./EU)

8 Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg Differences (II) FOI governs all types of data whereas Data Protection only relates to the handling of personal data Therefore: Many data (e.g. budget or planning information) may be disclosed without touching upon privacy issues

9 Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg Balancing Data Protection and FOI If access to or publication of personal data in public files is at issue a careful balance has to be struck in each individual case. Neither privacy nor freedom of information (transparency) take precedence in principle Example of Art. 14 para.3 Lithuanian Law on Provision of Information to the Public

10 Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg Towards accession to the EU Lithuania has made significant progress in terms of legal alignment and administrative capacity (Regular Progress Reports 2001/2002) Commission has called for further strengthening of the State Data Protection Inspectorate

11 Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg Enlargement no one-way process Acquis communautaire is the entirety of legal rules and organisational conditions to be adopted by candidate countries before accession to the EU But countries of Central and Eastern Europe are also influencing Western European countries

12 Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg The example of Brandenburg (I) Brandenburg (Germany) adopted a general constitutional right to access public documents in Act on Access to Files The Hungarian experience since 1992 contributed to the creation of an agency (Commissioner) for access to information issues

13 Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg The example of Brandenburg (II) Two separate acts on Data Protection and Access to Public Files One Commissioner with a combined task of monitoring the respect for the basic rights of data protection and access to information (Hungarian model)

14 Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg Situation in Germany (I) Data Protection Laws in force on the federal level and in all 16 states since the 1970s but Access to Information Laws in force only in 4 states, not on the federal level

15 Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg Situation in Germany (II) Federal Government promised to introduce legislation for general access to information but failed to do so. After the General Election they have renewed this promise. Germany is one of the last European Countries without an FOI law.

16 Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg Privacy and FOI laws worldwide In 39 states Privacy laws in force, in 8 states legislation pending In 44 states FOI laws in force, in 12 states legislation pending March 2002

17 Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg The democratic information society Most democratic states today take the view that the „information society“ or „information revolution“ will only be accepted by the citizens if they have a right to informational self-determination (data protection) and a right to access documents held by the state

18 Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg Three models of regulation Separate legislation for Data Protection and FOI, separate enforcement (e.g. Sweden, France, U.S., E.U.) Separate legislation but combined enforcement (e.g. United Kingdom, 4 German states) Combined legislation and combined enforcement by an agency with dual responsibility (Hungary, Québéc (Canada), Solothurn (Switzerland))

19 Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg Future Developments The combined approach is likely to become a general trend in the future (cf. developments in Switzerland and Germany). Candidate countries are invited to examine this legislative option EU law does not prescribe a specific model

20 Landesbeauftragter für den Datenschutz und für das Recht auf Akteneinsicht Brandenburg Links 2002/


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