Sabic: Processing of personal data in contrary to law in Serbia

In Serbia, processing of personal data is to the great extent in contrary to the provisions of laws and standards applicable in regulated countries, said the Commissioner Rodoljub Sabic, over the weekend, warning on the other hand that there are no legal provisions on video surveillance, rules in the field of biometrics, security checks.... The Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection told to Tanjug news agency that it is totally irresponsible attitude of the country towards the situation in this field, and he is confident that Serbia will face two types of problems, unless it begins to change its attitude towards these human rights.

According to his words, it is about the problem in communication with the EU, within the issues under Chapter 23 related to human rights, but also about ensuring the enforcement of fundamental rights of the citizens guaranteed by the Constitution. "Personal data protection cannot be boiled down to the activities of one body such as a commissioner", said Sabic, adding that the improvement of the situation in the field requires involvement of a large number of institutions. Stating that Serbia lacks the most basic rules which would regulate different fields, the Commissioner said that in a regulated country, when talking about the problem of violation of certain civil rights, such as the right to privacy or lawful processing of personal data, it is assumed that there is a system that is being violated." You have incidents and you react on them.

Unfortunately, we are not in a position to discuss about it, because we have no system, except for the initial provisions contained in the Law on the Personal Data Protection," said Sabic. He warns that in Serbia there are no legal provisions on video surveillance, rules in the field of biometrics, security check." " We have hundreds of thousands of cameras, and no one knows how many cameras daily record the citizens of Serbia, what happens to these video records, how and how long the stored records are kept, whether they are redistributed and to whom," concluded Sabic. Stating that there is a reason why processing of biometric data is considered the most invasive invasion of privacy, he warns that there are no legal provisions in this field which is in the EU specially treated and regulated. According to him, the security check is also not regulated by law, despite the warnings and initiative of the Commissioner.

He warned that the Government of Serbia three years ago adopted the Personal Data Protection Strategy that should ensure the implementation of democratic standards and which provides for the establishment of a special body to deal with the coordination and execution of tasks under the Strategy, as well as the adoption of the Action Plan. "It's been three years since, and neither the body was established nor the Action plan was adopted. This is inexplicable and intolerable, says Sabic. He points out that the Government, even though it has been five years since the adoption of the Law on Personal Data Protection, has not passed a regulation on data having special protection - on health condition, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, political opinions or religious beliefs." In instances where he reacted, Sabic, among others, mentions data processing of young people who wanted to be trained at the Police Academy, warning to banks ... but also actions that have made a number of positive outcomes in the health care system. "We performed supervision over institutions dealing with blood transfusion and then we found an incredible situation that donor's data, such as: what kind of sex you practice, do you have hepatitis, have you used drugs, were kept on open shelves behind a door locked with ordinary key without any surveillance, control, recording who has accessed to them," said Sabic . The paradox, he says, is that in the same time in some primary health care centers it has been introduced the application of biometric measures, leaving fingerprints, for registering entrance times.