Justice Minister: Data Protection Not Absolute, Right to Life Is

TASR stock photo: Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) figures: leader Richard Sulik (left), Martin Klus (centre) and Karol Galek.

Bratislava, March 24 (TASR) – Justice Minister Maria Kolikova (For the People) said in Parliament on Tuesday that she’s aware of the sensitivity of collecting mobile phone location data for the tracking of people infected with the new coronavirus, but public health matters more.

She explained that the data will be used only to track those who don’t heed the obligation to stay in quarantine. According to her, data protection isn’t absolute. “The right to life is absolute,” she stressed. She promised that the law, stipulated to be in force only until the end of this year, will in no way be misused in the future. In addition, the data will only be available to the Public Health Authority for a limited time, she added.

Parliamentary Vice-chairman Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD), until last week prime minister, called the bill a major intervention in people’s privacy, and proposed to introduce such a measure only if the top-level state of emergency is declared in the country.

A total of 19 new coronavirus cases were recorded in Slovakia on Monday, bringing the total tally up to 204, it was reported on Tuesday. There has been no death of COVID-19 so far.