Personal information protection bill discussed

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During its meeting on June 22, the Standing Committee on Justice discussed the bill on protection of personal information.

The bill initiators believe that there is no legal provision for protection of personal information stored in public service facilities.

The bill defines terms, such as personal privacy, sensitive information, controller, processor, genetic and biometric information, based on the standards of other countries, and regulates the conditions for the collection, processing and use of sensitive human and biometric data and their use for historical, scientific research and analysis purposes.

It also regulates the placement of audio and video recording equipment, the requirements for audio and video recording systems, and prohibitions and control.

Along with the bill, the Law on Infringements and Criminal Code will be amended. In particular, the Law on Infringements will be amended to impose a fine of 500,000 MNT to 8 million MNT for installing audio and video equipment at entrances and ex- its of a household, showing or copying audio and video recordings to others without the permission the information’s owner.

The use of personal information in violation of the law is not only punishable under the Infringements Law, but also criminally punishable. Particularly, someone who copied audio and video recordings and clearly infringed an individual’s right to privacy, inviolability and freedom, shall be punishable by a fine of up to 240 to 720 hours of community service.

During the meeting, some lawmakers expressed their views. In particular, legislator J.Sukhbaatar noted that transparency of human resources in government agencies is very important.

Parliamentarian Ts.Munkh-Orgil said, “We need to review the implementation of the Law on Information Transparency and Right and Freedom to Access Information. The law is blocked by the Law on State and Official Secrets and Law on Organizational and Personal Secrets. The Law on Freedom to Access Information is useless because organizations keep all their issues secret. There is no need to talk about the bill without reviewing and amending these three laws. Therefore, the government should develop the bill on state secrets as a matter of urgency.”

“Government agencies have stopped providing information in the name of official secrecy. Lawmakers have the right to ask questions from government agencies and receive written answers within 14 days. However, the head of a government agency sent me an official letter stamped with the Law on State and Official Secrets. Violation of this law is punishable by up to five years in prison. In addition, when obtaining restricted information, the purpose of obtaining the information shall be introduced, then it will be disclosed in accordance with a written consent. That should not be the case,” legislator B.Enkhbayar stressed.

Emphasizing that in the past, official information was mixed up in the state registry and used as evidence of a crime, lawmaker B.Delgersaikhan said, “I do not know whether this has changed now, or not. Maybe government agencies keep their information secret in order to hide theft. Not everything related to the state is a secret.”

Minister of Justice and Internal Affairs Kh.Nyambaatar underscored that the disclosure of information related to land information by the government will be legalized, and this information can be viewed by anyone.

Misheel Lkhasuren