Electoral service to dial back archival information on political candidates

Ballot paper.
Ballot paper. Source: Patrik Tamm/ERR

The National Electoral Service, working with the Estonian Data Protection Inspectorate (AKI), has decided to stop displaying the age, education and professional activity of candidates in its archive six months after elections.

"We will be going over how long candidates' information regarding their job, profession and education remains visible after elections, to bring this aspect into conformity with the Personal Data Protection Act and the GDPR," head of the service Arne Koitmäe told ERR.

He said that while the information is published in accordance with the Elections Act, the law does not specify how long it should remain visible. The head of the service said that public interest usually persists for six months after elections.

"After consulting with the data protection watchdog, we will be removing access to the data based on the principle of minimality, meaning that the information will not be available beyond public interest," he said. The electoral service will also be removing the data from previous elections' websites.

Koitmäe emphasized that information directly relevant to elections, including the candidate's result, will remain visible.

The issue was raised when a local government council elections candidate turned to AKI to have their information removed. "We have removed individual people's information in the past," he said.

Lawyer for AKI Kadri Levand emphasized that the data will be removed from public view and will remain accessible through a request for public information.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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