Paul Van Tigchelt, who took the helm of the Organisation for the Coordination of Threat Analysis on the 1st of January, has said it is high time to have a debate on personal data in terrorism cases. “I think privacy is sometimes used as an argument to avoid a debate”, he said in an interview published in Le Soir on Saturday.
“I am a magistrate. But privacy and the respect of freedom is crucial to me”, Mr Van Tigchelt said.
He insisted that he doesn’t want everything to be allowed, but there is a way to better use technology to fight terrorism. The OCAM director has said businesses hold more personal data to sell products than authorities have to protect citizens. He did say there are safeguards in place. “We have a good culture, a strong democracy”.
In another interview with La Dernière Heure, Mr Van Tigchelt said that lowering the threat level to 1 for Belgium was not on the agenda.
He added he was worried about “Foreign Terrorist fighters”, “a new threat our forces are prepared for”. He issued a warning about those who have come back. “I know a lot of women want to come back with their children. But we will have to keep an eye on these kids”.