On 15 September 2013 presidential candidate Zurab Kharatishvili announced: “The Ministry of Justice made public a list of voters who were suspended from the elections and their ID numbers. This is a violation of the Law on Citizens’ Privacy and Personal Data Protection.”FactCheck
set out to check the accuracy of Zurab Kharatishvili’s statement.
On 10 September 2013, the State Services Development Agency, a legal entity of public law under the governance of the Ministry of Justice, published on its website a full list of the voters whose registration for the elections has been suspended. The list includes the following data on those individuals: names, surnames, dates of birth and ID numbers.
The Georgian Law on Citizens’ Privacy and Personal Data Protection aims to secure the inviolability of citizens’ rights and freedoms, including the inviolability of one’s private life while processing personal data of citizens. As stated in Article 2, Part A of the same Law, personal data represents any information concerning an identified or an identifiable physical entity. An individual is identifiable if his identity can be defined directly or indirectly through an identification number or through a description of individual’s physical, physiological, psychological, economic, cultural and social features.
The term ‘identification number,’ among others, encompasses the ID numbers as well (Article 2, Part R). Therefore, relevant officials are required to ensure the protection of the identification numbers. It is to be noted that this Law does not define which personal data of individuals should be considered as public information.The matters of public information are discussed in the Election Code. According to Article 14, Part 1, Subparagraph V and Part 1841 4,
the following information is considered to be public: an individual’s name, surname, date of birth, address as stated on the personal identification card and gender as well as physical and legal addresses for internally displaced persons from the occupied territories of Georgia and the date of their registration in the election registry.
The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy made an announcement with regard to this fact. Its representatives stated that the published information came into contradiction with the Georgian Election Code and the Law on Citizens’ Privacy and Personal Data Protection.
As seen, the ID number is not considered to be public information and falls under the jurisdiction of the Georgian Law on Citizens’ Privacy and Personal Data Protection.Consequently, we conclude that Zurab Kharatishvili’s statement, “The Ministry of Justice made public a list of voters who were suspended from the elections and their ID numbers. This is a violation of the Law on Citizens’ Privacy and Personal Data Protection,” is TRUE.