Commissioner for Human Rights

The wide range of personal data in foster care. Office for the Protection of Personal Data's response


Concerned foster families address the CHR about the scope and security of personal data collected and processed in the register of custodial data created under the Family Support and Foster Care Act.

As of 1 February 2023, Article 38d was added to this Act by the Act of 7 October 2022 amending this Law, which includes a list of various groups of persons related to foster care. The register is maintained by the starost, the organizer of family foster care, the provincial marshal and the voivode using an ICT system provided by the Minister of Family, which enables the register to be maintained, data to be transferred to it, data to be deleted from it and data to be made available from it. The problem is that the scope of the data collected in the register of foster families includes, inter alia, marital status, occupation, place of employment, source and amount of income. This is excessive to the purpose of the register and contradicts the general principles for the processing of personal data in Article 5 of the General Data Protection Regulation. The case is similar for children. There are concerns about the security of these data, as many authorities are entitled to obtain them. As a result, there is a risk of disclosure of sensitive data and violation of the right to privacy.

Jan Nowak, President of the Office for the Protection of Personal Data, replied, pointing out that "(...) the issues raised in your letter were of concern to the authority responsible for the protection of personal data at the stage of giving its opinion on the draft law (...)". He also stressed that the Office is an independent body, outside the sphere of government administration, and its influence on the legislative process is limited to giving an opinion on draft laws submitted to it. The opinions of the authority responsible for the protection of personal data on these drafts are of an expert nature and the drafters are not obliged to accept the objections raised in these opinions.