© Domingos Oliveira (RTL)
Representatives of the data protection commission met with two parliamentary commissions on Wednesday morning to discuss the compatibility of police records and data banks with data legislation at the request of the CSV.
Many MPs left the meeting with dissatisfaction, some alleging that the commission was unable to answer 'simple questions' concerning the police data banks. The parliamentary commissions on justice and internal security met on Wednesday morning, but left without answers.
Above all, opposition MPs voiced their disappointment with the meeting, but there were certainly also ruling party members who were not fully satisfied. Both parliamentary commissions unanimously agreed that the matter requires legislative amendments, which would take place in the autumn. Many MPs also wanted to meet with more regulatory bodies, starting with the justice control body. MPs hope to meet with the regulatory institution next week.
Democratic Party MP Eugène Berger maintained that all police files should have their own legislation, in which lawmakers specify how different files should be processed in different manners. He based his comments on Green Party MP Charel Margue's point that the current legal basis appears to be 'limited'. However, both MPs cautioned against rushing through legislation despite the frustrations of not being able to swiftly address the population's negative impression of the authorities.
LSAP MP Alex Bodry was firmly of the belief that the Chamber of Deputies, the government, and regulatory bodies must all collectively acknowledge their mistake. Bodry went on to say that now is the time for the collective to have the opportunity to make amends.
The consensus in amending legislation resulted from the fact that nobody was satisfied with the current standing, most of all the CSV. MP Gilles Roth highlighted that the justice regulatory body and the 2015 independent data protection commission should both be heard. Roth expressed his hope that there will be clear answers, for the sake of transparency, citizens, and the constitutional state. He added that he hopes that MPs will not be forced into 'extreme' measures such as an investigate commission.
The Pirate Party's Marc Goergen was yet another dissatisfied MP, alongside the Left's Marc Baum. Baum claimed to be disturbed that the commission would complete a report based on the government's request, given the commission's independent nature. He pointed out that the commission should instead be answering to the Chamber of Deputies and found it bizarre that the data protection commission is withholding information until October. Generally, Baum referred to the commission's past record of having clear positions on such issues.
ADR MP Roy Reding told the press he was 'bitterly disappointed', given that the data protection commission was incapable of answering simple questions. He highlighted that MPs had previously been reassured of the report emerging from the commission, but now felt that the government was trying to delay answers.
Consequently, Reding launched an appeal to citizens to write to the police based on the right of access. He said citizens could write a simple letter or email, asking whether the police hold information about the citizen in question and requesting a copy in the event that the police do hold information. He also recommended that citizens ask how long the police keep such information, in the event that they have police records on citizens.