The Norwegian Data Protection Authority asks the police to provide an overview of Norwegian space

The Norwegian Data Protection Authority asks the police to provide an overview of Norwegian space

Aftenposten newspaper revealed that police surveyed more than 650 Norwegians of Roma origin. The issue is now on the table of the Danish Data Protection Authority.

The short version

Aftenposten newspaper revealed that police surveyed more than 650 Norwegians belonging to the Roma minority in Norway. The overview extends to all four Norwegian RomeNorwegian RomeNorwegian Roma, formerly called Gypsies, are an ethnic group that came to Norway in the 1870s. In 1998, they obtained national minority status. Who survived the Holocaust. There are also children and dead people in the overview.

– I believe that this is an illegal activity and it must stop immediately, says lawyer Mette Yvonne Larsen. She leads the advocacy group at the Norwegian Bar Association.

The police overview was based on 14 people with roles in ongoing criminal cases. Police say the remaining 641 are close family members or “other people.”

The overview contains the date of birth, Social Security number, full name, and address for 88 people. 567 registered with initials, age, municipality of residence and number of criminal cases.

– Such recordings or surveys may not be conducted without a legitimate purpose and must in principle be related to the investigation of a specific criminal matter. Larsen says this follows the police recording law.

Lawyer John Wessel-AS also believes that there is reason to question the legitimacy of the police room overview, based on what was stated in the Aftenposten article.

– In this case, it seems very doubtful whether the requirements of the Police Register Act have been met, because the processing concerns the mapping of entire families, for several generations, based, inter alia, on the fact that they are Roma people.

Responds to ethnic group mapping

Roma are one of Norway's five national minorities. It puts the matter in a more important light for lawyers.

“I react strongly to the fact that this recording is linked to a specific ethnic group, a group of people who have previously suffered mistreatment and mistreatment in our society,” says Larsen.

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Police have consistently denied that they have created a racial registry or race profile, writing that the review is based on crime.

The Police Registration Act gives the police the right to record information, among other things, to combat crime, including whether it is linked to a criminal environment.

But when it comes to processing personal data about 'racial or ethnic origin', strict requirements are necessary if the police are to do so.

– They may have started with crime as a starting point, but then it became a survey of an ethnic group. This is not a survey of crime, but of the Roma people as such, Wessel-As says.

Wessel-Aas believes that the Norwegian Data Protection Authority should carefully examine the overview of the room. And they should.

Norwegian Data Protection Authority: appears as a registry

– Create an extensive overview of 650 people. This appears to be a record of the Roma population in Norway, says Marien Fagan, Director of the Legal Department at the Norwegian Data Protection Authority.

She works on cases relating to police processing of personal data. It confirms that the Norwegian Data Protection Authority has received an inquiry about mapping the space environment.

Based on this and the information that came to light in Aftenposten, the Norwegian Data Protection Authority will investigate whether the mapping process conducted by the police is legal or not.

Fagan says the Norwegian Data Protection Authority will now ask the Eastern Police District for an explanation.

The Eastern Police District did not conduct any written assessment of the legality of obtaining the information. This is among the aspects that the Norwegian Data Protection Authority is interested in investigating.

– In case of intensive processing of personal data, comprehensive assessments must always be carried out. This is especially true when processing “special categories of personal data” such as race, Fagan writes.

He rejects criticism

“It took work a base In a selection of concrete criminal cases, it has been expanded with information about them diverse a crime. This way, we will be able to get a specific overview of the overall crime picture,” Thomas Sterk, acting chief of the Joint Intelligence, Prevention and Investigation Unit of the Eastern Police District, wrote in an email.

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He also stated that other family members had an “alarming” high number of criminal cases.

Stærk in the Eastern Police District confirms that they believe the review is in line with the law.

“Our assessment was, and continues to be, that this particular processing complies with the requirements of the Police Record Act on the processing of personal data,” he wrote.

“This was an overview based on crime, not race.”

He writes that the police district welcomes the review by the Danish Data Protection Authority.

“We also welcome debate on our methods and tools, not least debate on crime prevention and isolation.”

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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