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Chapter: 

IV. Governance issues

E-government

In November 2005, the CNPD released a deliberation on privacy and electronic voting.1 The CNPD based its recommendations on its evaluation of the 2004 and 2005 elections. The evaluation stresses the principles of transparency, security, and integrity. Specifically, the CNPD recommended that: electronic voting be publicly debated and the public be informed by political and technological leaders about electronic voting; that software be open source and capable of being audited before and after voting; that electronic voting be used to complement, not replace, traditional methods; that voter-verified paper trails be used; that separate machines hold voter information and vote collection databases “ the former being preferably done on paper; and that the communication of voting information be encrypted and not use the public Internet or telephone network.

Open government

Law No. 46/07 of 24 August 2007 (Regula o Acesso aos Documentos Administrativos or Law on the Regulation of, and Access to, Administrative Documents) provides for access to government records in any form by any person.2 Documents can, however, be withheld for "internal or external security," secrecy of justice, and personal privacy.3 Documents with personally identifiable information can only be accessed by the subject of that information or third parties with "direct, personal, and legitimate" interest.4 Access to environmental information is regulated by Law No. 19/2006, which implements EC Directive 2003/4/CE.5

The access to government documents is overseen by the Commission for Access to Administrative Documents (CADA), an independent parliamentary agency. The CADA can examine complaints, provide opinions on access, and decide on classification of systems. CADA's decisions are not binding, so if an agency continues to deny access, further appeal can be made to an administrative court. CADA processed 330 complaints in 2004, 306 in 2005, 310 in 2006, and 361 in 2007.6

Other developments

There is nothing to report under this section.

Non-government organisations' advocacy work

There is nothing to report with respect to this section.

International obligations and International cooperation

The European Court of Human Rights had 262 cases pending against Portugal by the end of 2009 and had issued a total of 17 judgments. These cases involved alleged violations of rights unrelated to personal data protection.7 In 2001, the European Court of Human Rights has found Portugal to be in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights in the case of Antunes Rocha v Portugal, where a governmental security investigation into the personal life of a NATO employee was found to have been a violation of the employee™s right to respect for her private life.8 This case was, however, based on facts that had occurred prior to the implementation of a wide range of legislation guaranteeing the protection of personal data, such as the 1998 Act on the Protection of Personal Data.

On 10 December 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations, of which Portugal is a member, adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.9 Portugal ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on 15 June 1978.10

Portugal is a member of the Council of Europe (CoE). It has signed and ratified the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.11 It has also signed and ratified the CoE Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (ETS No. 108) (Convention No. 108),12 and, in November 2001, signed the CoE Convention on Cybercrime (ETS No. 185) but has not ratified it.13 In January, 2007, Portugal also ratified the Additional Protocol to Convention No. 108 regarding supervisory authorities and transborder data flows, which entered into force on 1 May 2007.14   Portugal is a member of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and has adopted the OECD Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data.


Footnotes