Estonian PM: Pere Sihtkapital scandal extremely embarrassing

  • 2023-08-17
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - At the government's press conference on Thursday, commenting on the scandal surrounding the Pere Sihtkapital foundation having obtained personal data of thousands of people from the Population Register on behalf of the University of Tartu without due permission, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that data protection must be discussed in relation to the incident and all this information having been issued to the foundation is extremely embarrassing.

"Undoubtedly, this undermines trust in the state that these data are in safe hands. Trust in e-governance is based on confidence in the technologies and their functioning, as well as assurance that people's data is protected. There doesn't need to be a financial loss, as the breach of privacy in itself is already a severe violation," Kallas said.

The prime minister stated that everyone has the right to privacy, and data should not be misused.

"There shouldn't even be an opportunity for this," she emphasized.

Kallas added that it is the state's duty to protect its citizens' data, and data protection has to be implemented so that such incidents cannot recur.

The premier welcomed proceedings having been launched into the matter, affirming that the state must be transparent in these investigations.

"I hope that the public will be informed consistently about this," she said.

Kallas said that the survey in question is tantamount to peeking into people's bedrooms.

"I looked at the questionnaire, and I completely understand the women who felt disturbed. The questions were offensive," she remarked.

Kallas also said that she cannot agree with the attitude that women's only value lies in giving birth to children.