Budapest, March 19 (MTI) – Collecting information on “provocators”, setting up a database and publishing such data would violate data protection rules, Attila Peterfalvi, head of the data protection authority NAIH, said on his organisation’s website on Thursday.
Peterfalvi published his position after Fidelitas, the youth arm of ruling Fidesz, announced that they would start “monitoring left-wing provocators aiming to disrupt events” and invited reports with the names and photos of such individuals.
Photos taken of private individuals at public events cannot be shared with the aim of setting up any database, Peterfalvi said, referring to the data protection act. He argued that “outing” people seen as provocators could be considered as sidestepping the judicial system.
“The answer to the activities of people seen as provocators cannot be violation of the law such as collecting, forwarding, or publishing personal data,” Peterfalvi said. He added, however, that photos taken of people who disturb public events could be used to file a criminal complaint with the police.
Peterfalvi also noted that such “monitoring” would discourage people from exercising their right to free expression. He added that the freedom of expression cannot be restricted even at public events, as long as those expressions do not violate the law.
Provocators should assume responsibility for their actions, Fidesz said in reaction to Peterfalvi’s remarks. In a statement, the ruling party insisted that those that disrupt “peaceful celebrations” or “bring a city to a halt” through a protest should not conceal their names or faces.