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Government still needs years to clear up ‘incorrect personal data’ | NOW

It will take years before the government has screened organizations for the wrongful registration of a second nationality and the keeping of other “contaminated data”. The outgoing cabinet was instructed by the Lower House to clean up these incorrect personal data. To achieve this, the cabinet will certainly need this entire four-year term of office, State Secretary Raymond Knops (Internal Affairs) reports to the House of Representatives.

The House called on the cabinet to “propose how contaminated data, risk models and the use of nationality are cleaned up everywhere within government institutions”. The cabinet must stop keeping these records in order to learn from the allowance scandal.

Risk models must partly continue to exist for supervision and enforcement, says Knops. To completely stop tracking nationality would make many other tasks “seriously difficult” and sometimes even “close to impossible”.

That is why all public authorities are screened for “illegal or improper use of these indicators in risk models”. These investigations have already been opened at the Tax Authorities, Benefits and, for example, the UWV. Knops has asked fellow ministers to prepare research into organizations in their own fields. This year “plans of action” will be drawn up and a project leader will be appointed for the screening.

In addition to checking the processing registers, an active search is started “to identify within the own organization, processes and systems where these indicators are used in risk models”. The cabinet is looking for a way to make it “objectively measurable” whether, for example, the second nationality has been registered unlawfully.

When in doubt, a report will be made

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Knops writes that in case of doubt, a report is made to the Dutch Data Protection Authority or to the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights. “If there are risk models that make illegal or improper use of origin-related variables, their use will be discontinued.”

The people whose data has been unlawfully held will be notified as soon as possible, and the government agency in question will rectify or delete the data. “It is still being discussed to what extent contaminated data should and may be kept (safe) for some time,” adds the State Secretary.

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