BIRN Serbia Joins Initiative to Protect Personal Data

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BIRN Serbia and more than 40 civil society organisations are calling for the country’s Law on Personal Data Protection to be amended to better protect the public.

BIRN Serbia has joined more than 40 civil society organisations in their call for parliament to amend the country’s draft Law on Personal Data Protection to clarify that citizens’ rights to data protection can only be limited if there is a legal basis to do so.

The initiative is being led by the SHARE Foundation, an NGO working to advance human rights and freedoms online, and Partneri Srbija, a civil society organisation devoted to upholding the rule of law.

The draft does not currently specify that a legal basis is required, which BIRN and other organisations calling for the amendment claim creates a risk that authorities or private companies handling personal data may restrict citizens’ rights at their own discretion.

The proposed amendment refers to Article 40 of the bill, which the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection has also been vocal in the need for it to be changed.

He told N1 television network on October 23 that it was “without any sense and reasonable explanation” that the article did not contain a stipulation that citizens’ rights can only be limited by law.

The organisations that signed the call expect that an amended and final text of the law will restore the provision that citizens’ rights can be restricted only by law and that they will be given the highest level of protection of the right to privacy and personal data protection.

More details are available on the SHARE Foundation’s website (in Serbian only).