More officials being fined for data misuse

Latvia's data protection law allows individuals to provide what information the authorities had collected about him, though this opportunity is used rarely. Nevertheless, the number of officials fined for peeking around in databases has grown over the last few years. 

This year, six people have been fined for using databases unlawfully, while last year eleven fines were handed out. 

"Currently it's very good that these institutions [holding Latvians' data] have introduced inner control mechanisms, and you can not call a traffic cop you know to check some number. It's being controlled and monitored," said Ilze Jurča, a high-level official at the country's Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau.

She was referring to the State Police and State Revenue Service, which have interior controls in place to protect data and sometimes do random sweeps.

"We also do random checks. We pick an official, take a time slot and audit what they've done in our databases," said Ilona Reitere, an official at the State Police's interior control bureau. 

In late May new regulations will come into force, allowing to request information on data use every day, not just twice a year. 

Nevertheless, currently it's a rather lengthy process, as residents can only submit such a request at the Citizenship and Migration Affairs Office. 

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