The OSCE office in Sarajevo has commended the most recent decision of Bosnia's Personal Data Protection Agency ordering the immediate removal of names and personal data of persons in the coronavirus-related self-isolation and refraining from this practice in the future.
“Publication of such information not only raises obvious privacy concerns, but could discourage individuals from reporting their illness, making the virus more difficult to track, and thereby increasing risks to the public at large,” the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Mission in Bosnia told N1, urging the citizens to comply with the measures that authorities introduced to contain the virus spread.
Some local authorities recently published the names of the persons who were put in a 14-day quarantine after they either returned from the countries severely affected by the coronavirus or felt the symptoms suggesting they might be infected.
This sparked a strong reaction of the Data Protection Agency, which ordered the immediate removal of the personal details.
“Personal data protection does not prevent the competent bodies from taking the measures and activities in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. However, competent bodies should ensure lawful personal data processing. Public exposure of personal data of the persons who tested positive to the coronavirus and the persons who were ordered to isolate and self-isolate, and who do not breach those orders, cannot be considered a public interest,” said the agency.
“Publishing the details about the persons who are subject of the measures could deteriorate the trust in the healthcare system,” it added.