Veto Law on Single State Demographic Register!


The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union has issued an appeal to President Yanukovych to veto the Law on a Single State Demographic Register (No. 10492) passed by the Verkhovna Rada on 2 October.  They present the following reasons.

1.  The Law introduces a Single State Demographic Register with no comprehensible aim and for an indefinite period and does not specify the grounds for inputting personal data and the purpose of this data’s processing. This alone results in the infringement of a number of articles of the Personal Data Protection Act and Article 32 of the Constitution, as well as international human rights agreements.

2.  There is no clearly stipulated list of types of data which the law proposes should be input into the Register, with this creating the possibility for arbitrary interpretation. In addition, the Law allows information to be received from officiall information systems which constitutes use of information for a purpose it was not suited for. The only evident aim in creating this register is to accumulate and store various forms of personal information under a single universal identify code and issue biometric identifying documents. Nor is the list of biometric documents exhaustive.

3.  The Law makes biometric documents mandatory in conditions where no infrastructure has been created for their use. There are, for example, no devices for reading the relevant information. This raises many questions regarding the efficiency of introducing expensive technology for producing biometric documents without adequate opportunity for their use. The unwarranted expenses for the production of such documents will be a grave burden on the public. For example, the Law stipulates that internal passports need to be renewed every 10 years although the justification for such a short period is in question. The considerable cost in money and time which members of the public will need to spend on obtaining such documents will give rise to violation of many human rights, such as the right to freedom of movement, personal and family life, etc.

4.  The Law merges into one database the functions of registering individuals and passportization which does not exist in any European country since it creates broad opportunity for abuse. Particularly since the data to be gathered will include a person’s digital signature.  The creation of a single register masks the merger of all personal data of people living in the country from various databases, including official, into one single database, which creates conditions for total surveillance over the individual.

We believe that introduction of biometric documents should be confined to passports and that Law No. 10492 should be brought into line with the Constitution, Ukraine’s international agreements and the Personal Data Protection Act.

We therefore ask you to use your power of veto and not allow this law to come into effect.

The appeal is signed by Yevhen Zakharov, Head of the UHHRU Board and UHHRU Executive Director Arkady Bushchenko

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