National consultation website runs code written by Russian technology company
Budapest, April 9 (MTI) – A website set up for Hungary’s latest national consultation – a survey of citizens on a range of issues – meets strict legal requirements, the Government Information Centre said on Sunday, after some opposition parties called for a probe of the way the site manages user data.
News portal 444.hu said earlier that the national consultation website runs code written by Russian technology company Yandex to compile user statistics. It added that “in 2011, it was revealed that the company shares data with the Russian secret service”.
The Government Information Centre said users’ personal data and the opinions they voice using the site are kept strictly separate and cannot be linked. The website’s analytical tools serve to increase efficiency, it added.
The centre acknowledged that one of these analytical tools “could provide an opportunity for malevolent misinterpretation”, thus the developer was instructed to disable it.
Opposition Socialist MP Zsolt Molnar, who chairs parliament’s national security committee, said he expects the Hungarian secret services to clarify whether or not the personal data of respondents in the national consultation are sent to Russian servers. The Socialist Party has also requested an investigation by data protection authority NAIH and asked it to suspend the national survey for the duration of the probe.
The Hungarian Liberal Party called on cabinet office chief Antal Rogán to resign for “sending the data of Hungarian voters to a foreign state” and asked for an investigation of the matter.
Peter Ungar, a party leader of opposition LMP, said at a press conference that his party would turn to the NAIH on the matter.
The parliamentary group of governing Fidesz said the country’s left-wing parties had adopted the “ridiculous claims of the George Soros-supported 444.hu”.