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Will Separatists Obtain Access to Personal Data of Ukrainian Volunteers?

For the second year in a row the MIA is trying to make passengers of “Ukrzaliznytsia” enter their passport details in a ticket.

However the trend of this season is that not all Ukrainians but the Crimeans as well as citizens of Regions of Donetsk and Lugansk will suffer infringement of privacy. As the UHHRU found out from confidential sources, the MIA requires from “Ukrzaliznytsia” to collect information about the passengers who travel in these directions, and to transfer them.

They explain this by the situation in the country and potential terrorism. Here is an extract from the explanatory note of the MIA: “The project aims to identify those who travel by rail and may be involved in illegal activities, including the acts of terrorism and sabotage, as well as to possibly identify the victims in cases of accidents and disasters, and to identify corpses”.

And will these measures be effective for the declared purpose? Yes. If you think that terrorists to fulfil their will use their own passports and not fake, as the case usually is.

Maxim Shcherbatyuk, the Program Director of UHHRU said: “In my opinion to fight against terrorism by entering a name and passport number in the ticket is the same as to treat headache with axe – it is ineffective and dangerous. This is a disproportionate measure to ensure security, because there are other operational ways to identify terrorists that are much more effective for this purpose”.

Why Can It Be Dangerous?

In Ukraine the personal data are inadequately protected and can quickly be made available to “third” parties, including the separatists and the Russian special services. That, in turn, will create additional risks for pro-Ukrainian activists, volunteers and physicians who are in those areas.

Even if we assume that creation of such a database is really an effective tool to identify and eliminate potential terrorists, for its creation the Ministry of Internal Affairs is to develop software and to go through the procedure for registration of personal data in accordance with the Law of Ukraine “On Personal Data Protection”. Moreover, according to the law not only Ministry of Internal Affairs is to apply for the registration of database, but also the Railway of Donetsk. We may only guess how the right to privacy will be enforced by Donetsk Railway in the present circumstances.

The UHHRU declares that it is ready to protect the right to privacy in the national courts and in the European Court of Human Rights.

 

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