Right to privacy

By NHRI mandate

By topic

By country

Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Slovenia

The Human Ombudsman of Slovenia addressed a detailed inquiry to the Ministry of the Interior regarding the procedures the police followed when establishing some protesters’ identities during protests in Ljubljana on 19 June 2020. The justifications provided by the police for the identification of 69 individuals were in view of the Ombudsman so general that they could, most likely, be attributed to all the protesters, who numbered around 7,000. The Ombudsman, therefore, recommended that police always conduct identification procedures according to applicable laws and regulations.

Ombudsman of Spain

In Spain, the Organic Law on the Protection of Citizens’ Security was adopted in 2015. The law extends the sanctioning power of the country’s General State Administration and could facilitate inaccurate legal interpretations, leaving things at the discretion of the police. At the same time, it could hinder media freedoms and citizens’ ability to mobilise.

The Ombudsman of Spain has repeatedly asked for its modification. It has made recommendations relating to external body searches on public roads, offences in the context of meetings and demonstrations, and the use of images or data by the police. Recent annual reports of the Ombudsman have advocated the reform of some aspects of this Law, seeking the right balance between security and freedom.

Consultative Human Rights Commission of Luxembourg

In 2018, the government of Luxembourg drafted amendments to the law Nº 6961 aimed at strengthening the protection of classified information. This was to be done by incorporating a security clearance system, mainly implemented by the National Safety Authority. In 2019, the Consultative Human Rights Commission of Luxembourg published an opinion on how the draft negatively impacted the right to freedom of expression and access to information, as well as to the protection of personal data. The NHRI expressed concerns that the law does not provide an exception for journalists or whistleblowers who report information about threats or harm to the public interest. The opinion provided recommendations to the government to ensure a human rights compliant revision of the draft legislation, one in which whistleblowers, informants and journalists are sufficiently protected. Additionally, the opinion advised on setting out clear modalities for the collection/use of personal data and avoiding excessive interference with privacy. The opinion took European regulations, European Court of Human Rights case law, and Council of Europe standards into account.