New act on migration authorities’ processing of personal data to replace the Act on the Register of Aliens
The act on the processing of personal data by migration authorities will enter into force on 1 September 2020 and replace the Act on the Register of Aliens, which is more than 20 years old. The new act will respond to needs in areas such as digitalisation, data protection and information management. In addition, the act will incorporate other provisions concerning the processing of personal data laid down in other acts that apply to the migration authorities.
One of the central reforms of the new act on the processing of personal data by migration authorities relates to secrecy provisions. The Act on the Register of Aliens has included secrecy provisions, but in the future secrecy provisions that apply to the migration authorities will be only those that are laid down in the Act on the Openness of Government Activities. For example, the possibility of harm or inconvenience caused by the publication of a document has previously served as grounds for the secrecy of the document. Now endangering safety will be a prerequisite for secrecy.
The new legislation will promote the protection of the rights of the data subject. In addition, the act will clarify the provisions related to the processing of personal data to the party applying the law. The act on the processing of personal data by migration authorities will apply to all data controllers responsible for the data, including the Finnish Immigration Service, reception centres, the police, the Border Guard, the Employment and Economic Development Offices (TE Offices) and the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres).
Press release by the Ministry of the Interior, 20 August 2020 New act on migration authorities’ processing of personal data to bring clarity and underline legal protection
Laki henkilötietojen käsittelystä maahanmuuttohallinnossa (Act on the processing of personal data by migration authorities, available on Finlex, in Finnish)