CBA to be given access to detailed information on 25 mln Poles
October 6, 2007
The daily Gazeta Wyborcza writes on its front page that Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski issued a decree allowing the Central Anti-corruption Bureau (CBA) full access to records on 25 mln Poles held by the social security agency ZUS.
The CBA is to have a direct computer link to the databases of ZUS. The CBA will thus have full employment and salary data on all legally employed Poles as well as access to other information like illnesses. The CBA will thus have the authority to check on anyone, even if a person is not part of an ongoing investigation. Earlier, a CBA agent had to receive authorization from superiors to obtain data on individuals.
Article 22 of the CBA law says that a CBA agent must receive written authorization from the head of the CBA to access a database in another state agency. The administrator of the database can then give access to the data that falls within the scope of the authorization.
The validity of the PM's ordinance is likely to be reviewed by the Constitutional Tribunal.
Opposition politicians have decried the ordinance saying that it is ripe for the abuse of civil liberties and that there are few safeguards that the data will not be used to target political opponents.
The ordinance may also be in conflict with article 8 of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights, which protects personal privacy.
The issue may cause a temporary uproar, but countries like the UK and US have gone much further in allowing justice system agencies access to all available data on their citizens.