Bits of Freedom also sounds alarm about Eindhoven’s data management

data storage vulnerable in Eindhoven
Photo credit: Rik Leenders/Studio040

The Municipality of Eindhoven has too little insight into which data are stored and used, according to research conducted by privacy watchdog Bits of Freedom.

According to the organisation, it was already clear in 2017 that the municipality lacked the right people to get data security right. Four years later, the important positions to properly protect the data held by the municipality have still not been filled, Bits of Freedom reports.

Nevertheless, the problems within the municipality are well known. The Eindhoven Chamber of Audit, for instance, also cracked the municipality’s privacy policy at the end of 2021. Half a year later, policy advisor and researcher Nadia Benaissa also questioned the policy within the civil service organisation.

4 years
“It is very disconcerting to see that even a large municipality like Eindhoven does not comply with the basis of the legislation to guarantee the privacy of its residents. The municipality has now had four years to put its house in order. Yet it appears that the basis for the Municipality of Eindhoven is not yet in order”.

And that while Eindhoven is all too eager to experiment with large amounts of data. “That is extra cynical, because we notice that the municipality is eager to work with experimental technology such as technological living labs on Stratumseind or wifi tracking, while they do not even comply with the basic principles of the legislation”, Benaissa says.

‘Serious consequences’
But what are the possible consequences of the municipality’s inadequate privacy policy? According to Benaissa, this mainly lies in the risk of data breaches. “Think for example of the recent data leak at the GGD in Rotterdam and the incident at Bureau Jeugdzorg (youth care agency) Utrecht in 2019, where thousands of files of vulnerable children ended up on the street due to poor AVG compliance”.

“These types of data breaches have serious consequences for the lives of victims. It can be prevented by following the basic principles of the AVG legislation. It is time for municipal councils to take a more active role in monitoring AVG compliance”, Benaisse said.

Source: Studio040

Translated by: Bob

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