[MyData & Open Data] Advice on EU Open Data project

Walter van Holst walter.van.holst at xs4all.nl
Sat Jan 3 12:49:29 UTC 2015

On 03/01/2015 12:17, Friedrich Lindenberg wrote:

> Over the year or so that this has been in operation, I've received a
> handful of removal requests, mostly from individuals where, admittedly,
> the need for transparency isn't great: academics, part-time NGO
> activists etc. However, given my limited ability to actually assess
> these requests and to delete the records, I have refused to comply with
> these requests.

Most European DPAs (the UK's CIO excepted) are unlikely to find that a
compelling argument against deletion records. If you can't comply with
such requests, you simply cannot bring up the diligence required to
ensure the veracity of your records.

That doesn't mean your database cannot be made compliant. Also, it would
be a shame to lose it. I would be extremely interested in it for
transparency reasons. Also, this would be a good case for pseudonymisation.

> * Should I (by default) delete entries from the TR when they get
> removed, even if that means I loose information about some large
> lobbying groups which try to escape transparency?

I think it would be worth to look into making them inaccessible. It
would be even more worthwhile to look into a way of separating
individuals and smaller NGOs from the bigger ones.

> * What mechanism for arbitrating removal requests should I have? [nb.
> total budget for the whole thing: 0 EUR :) ]

Ultimately, you must at least be willing to spend time on it. I think
that in light of the clear public interest in transparency in lobbying
you can request a higher burden of proof for deletion requests than the
average data controller can.

> * What should be the criteria for such a mechanism? What makes a person
> "irrelevant" in the context of such a database?

I would say that the bar for irrelevance is a lot higher than usual,
unless we are talking about clear cases of impersonating people. The
fact that someone no longer lobbies at the European level does not make
the fact that that person did so irrelevant. It must be data that *at
the time of entry into public record* was irrelevant or false.

I mean, ending up in a lobby register is not a typical youthful
indiscretion about which we should be forgetful.



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