“Government illegally analyzes information from tweets to gauge sentiment” – IT Pro – News

Dutch government institutions regularly collect data from Dutch Twitter users. These sentiments and social cues are analyzed. Experts see problems because they go against the original purpose of the compilation.

This is evidenced by research from various media, including AG Connect And the devotion. The media requested data from various Dutch government institutions, including ministries, tax authorities and the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority. These organizations collect data from Twitter users using commercial tools like Coosto. This may relate, for example, to questions asked to customer service via a social network, but data is also collected, for example, to collect feelings about the government. AG Connect cites as an example a study conducted by the Office of Social and Cultural Planning. That collected thousands of tweets about climate change and “national identity”. Other examples are several ministries of social affairs and agriculture. They wanted to know “how politics affects citizens”.

Experts about the study say there may be legal hurdles in collecting the data. For example, there will be no clear processing basis for tweet collection. While the tweets are usually public, users don’t post them thinking the data can be analyzed. At the beginning of this year, he was still there in Belgium Non-profit organization fined Because they collected tweets in this way for research. Experts argue that the GDPR will still apply if the data is publicly available. That is why a good foundation must be laid in advance and citizens must be able to see the data collected about them. Citizens must also be informed in advance, but this practically does not happen.

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Prior to investigations, government organizations write in their processing records that in some cases private personal data may also be collected. This is a special category of personal data that, according to the GDPR, should be better than average protected. The media write that in some cases data is collected on race and religion, and often also on political opinions. Ministries state that data is collected anonymously, although of course tweets can always be traced back to the user who posted them publicly. Private personal data is not collected on purpose, but “it cannot be excluded that Tweets contain that data”. SCP is also based on Article 14.5b GDPR. It states that statistical data can be collected more quickly.

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