Data processing: Hungarian surveillance concerns over AI data

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NAVÜ, which was originally presented as working under Gál’s Neumann Nonprofit, is in fact now operating under Prime Minister Orbán’s office.

NAVÜ is currently mapping all available data points with a view to identifying what can be sold. The agency may request the data from any public institution, which is required to transmit it to it.

Direct oversight is provided by the new National Data Asset Council, led by Orbán’s chief of staff, Antal Rogán, interior minister Sándor Pintér and Palkovics, minister of innovation technologies.

The issue of the processing of data created in public administration is not new.

In 2005-2006, the Eötvös Károly Institute, founded by the Soros Foundation of American billionaire philanthropist George Soros, conducted a study on the potential problems of data commercialization. He underlined the need for an effective and trustworthy data protection supervisor.

And the NAIH is not up to the job, warned the director of the Institute, Majtényi.

“From a human rights and legal rights protection point of view, I find this appalling,” he said of the Authority.

“To get the necessary protections, there must be an ombudsman or an independent data protection authority, but not the NAIH, which bases its philosophy on the legal protection of the powerful and wealthy from those without power or the poor,” he told BIRN.

“The Authority was supposed to do the exact opposite. It was created to serve as a protection for the disempowered and the vulnerable, not to serve the respective governments,” he said, citing the lack of action in the Pegasus case and “the ‘failure and neglect’ in the context of COVID-19. pandemic.

Earlier in the pandemic, the government was criticized for publishing the date of birth and any underlying illnesses of every person who died after being infected with the new coronavirus, a practice which critics say was designed to minimize the severity of COVID-19. At one point, when a high-ranking diplomat died, his alcohol addiction was made public.

NAIH Director Péterfalvi insists that the Authority provided active oversight during the AI ​​legislative process, which resulted in “a number of safeguards, including the ability to analyze personal data only after anonymization”.

In a written response to BIRN, Péterfalvi said that no data groups of less than 100 people would be distributed by NAVÜ and that personal identifiers would be protected.

“It should be emphasized that although NAVÜ’s activities may affect databases containing personal data, the Data Assets Act ensures, with multiple rules, that no personal data (i.e. say data relating to an identifiable natural person) is transferred to NAVÜ or to the customers of the analyzes carried out by NAVÜ, so that these bodies do not become data processors of the personal data processed in these databases”, he wrote.

“The Data Assets Act and its Implementing Regulations [607/2021. (XI. 5.) government regulation] prescribe not only a simple formal obligation of anonymization, but also systemic and multi-layered safeguards for the protection of personal data.

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