Belgian citizens can now see who accessed their personal data, and why

Belgian citizens can now see who accessed their personal data, and why
Credit: Belga/ Stephan Engler

People living in Belgium will, from Tuesday onwards, be able to see who accessed their personal data held by authorities and in what context.

Over the past two years, the Federal Government has taken steps towards more transparency. From now on, it will communicate more transparently about the use of personal data by the authorities in the country by allowing people to view when their own personal data were consulted and why.

The third phase of the so-called "Operation Transparency", launched by Mathieu Michel, State Secretary for Digitalisation and Privacy in cooperation with the FPS Policy and Support (BOSA), will see a new update being added on the website, which is the basis to provide citizens with this information.

In concrete terms, citizens can now visit the website to see the authority or institution that received their data, as well as the identity of the authority or institution that sent it, referring to the source. The category of data and the date of consultation are also indicated on the platform.

For the time being, only data passing through the federal service integrator, Bosa, can be consulted. Consultations that do not pass through the integrator and consultations as part of a judicial or police investigation are therefore not included.

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Mathieu believes this operation is part of a drive to build trust between citizens and government departments over the use of data.

"We are convinced that this mindset will extend beyond service integrators," he said. The final stage of the operation will provide citizens with an overview of their personal data held in different authentic sources and the reasons why it is held there.

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