Portugal: Data protection commission opens inquiry into sharing activist data with Russia

The National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD) confirmed on Thursday that it has opened an enquiry process into the sharing of personal data of three anti-Putin activists with Russia by the Lisbon city council.

 “The CNPD has opened an enquiry process based on a complaint received,” an official source from that body told Lusa, adding that “while the process is ongoing” the commission will not make “any comment”.

The enquiry process is based on the fact that Lisbon City Hall sent the Russian authorities the names, addresses and contacts of three Russian demonstrators who took part in a protest in January in front of the Russian embassy in Lisbon, for the release of Alexey Navalny, an opponent of that government.

The Mayor of Lisbon, Fernando Medina, explained that “the error resulted from the bureaucratic functioning of the services that applied to this demonstration what they apply to most of the dozens of demonstrations that take place in the city”.

According to Medina, the normal procedure that has been applied to all demonstrations since 2011 was applied, when civil governments were abolished and competencies passed to municipal councils.

 The Russian activists whose data was shared announced today that they will file a complaint in the courts against Lisbon City Council so that this “does not happen again” with Portuguese citizens.

The Mayor of Lisbon also said that Lisbon City Hall “has already drawn consequences from this situation” and changed procedures.

The President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, said that there were administrative procedures, perhaps throughout the Public Administration, that have not kept up with the evolution of personal data and fundamental rights.

“We come to the conclusion that there are old administrative procedures, and probably throughout the Public Administration, that have not accompanied the evolution of personal data and fundamental rights of people,” said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, in response to questions from journalists in Funchal.