Entertainment establishments see no issue in registering visitors

Kino Sõprus sign.
Kino Sõprus sign. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Data Protection Inspectorate (Andmekaitse Inspektsioon) ruled an idea presented by Ministry of Social Affairs undersecretary Maris Jesse illegal on Monday, but heads of different entertainment establishments see no issue in marking down visitor contact information in order to alleviate the spread of COVID-19.

Starting this weekend, visitors to Tallinn cinema Sõprus must mark down their contact information - name and e-mail - when entering the cinema. The regulation has been imposed to alleviate the possible spread of coronavirus.

Ivar Murd, CEO of Kino Sõprus, said: "We started it with the idea of having the data available early. If something were to happen and we needed to forward the information to the Health Board (Terviseamet), instead of calling out on social media, we would have the data available. Mapped out, who visited and where did they sit. We have also arranged seating by person as well."

Peeter Jalakas, entrepreneur and manager of many Tallinn restaurants, said he does not like the idea itself but it is doable.

Jalakas explained: "Let's word it like this: if the choice is to either help alleviate the spread or close our doors completely, I would certainly choose to help. It seems a little medieval to have to mark names down on a piece of paper but it is doable in essence."

Undersecretary at the Ministry of Social Affairs Maris Jesse told daily newspaper Eesti Päevaleht (link in Estonian) on Monday that the ministry is discussing a regulation, forcing restaurants, cinemas, theaters and other public spaces to take down contact details of their visitors, in order to to facilitate rapid contact if an individual or individuals later found to be carrying the coronavirus were present at the same time.

The Data Protection Inspectorate (Andmekaitse Inspektsioon) found that the idea would intrude on people's personal lives and would be contradictory to current legislation.

Maris Juha, Supervisory Director at the Data Protection Inspectorate, told ERR that there was no possibility for such data collection within the current legislative framework. "The only theoretical possibility would be at the individual's voluntary consent," she said, adding that the establishment cannot refrain from providing service if a person does not agree to divulge their contact information, as things stand.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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