Checking personal data - Police
Right of access
You have the right, barring a few exceptions, to find out what personal data of yours the police is processing. You also have the right to be told that the police does not hold any information about you.
There is generally no charge for exercising your right of access. However, the controller can charge you if you repeatedly ask to access your data or if your requests are otherwise unreasonable or manifestly unfounded. The circumstances in which the controller can charge you are regulated by the Act on Criteria for Charges Payable to the State. The amount that the controller can charge is regulated by the Decree of the Ministry of the Interior on Charges Payable for Police Services.
Exercising your right of access
With regard to personal data processed for the purposes listed in the Act on the Processing of Personal Data by the Police, exercising your right of access requires that you visit the controller (the National Police Board) or your local police department in person. You will need to prove your identity.
- You need to make your request to the police in person; you can bring your attorney with you.
- Be prepared to prove your identity.
- Your request must specify which of the data held by the police you wish to access.
- The police has templates for exercising the right of access.
- You do not need to use the templates, however, but can also prepare your own document.
- Whether you use the police’s templates or draw up your own document, your request must specify which of your data you wish to access.
You will be told if your request cannot be granted immediately when you make the request. The controller or your local police department will let you know when and how you will be given access your data.
Your request may also need to be forwarded to other authorities or to the Data Protection Ombudsman. If it transpires that you do not have the right to access your data, the Data Protection Ombudsman can check the lawfulness of the processing of your data on your behalf.
Restrictions on the right of access
Your right to access your data can be denied in certain circumstances. Your right of access can be restricted when such a restriction, considering your rights, is necessary and proportionate to safeguard
- the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties,
- another official investigation, audit or other such procedure,
- public security,
- national security, or
- the protection of the rights of others.
If your access is restricted in respect of only some of your data, you will be given access to the unrestricted portion of your file.
Restrictions on the right of access under the Act on the Processing of Personal Data by the Police
- You do not have the right to access
- data of covert human intelligence sources within the meaning of section 9 of the Act on the Processing of Personal Data by the Police,
- personal data in the Schengen Information System relating to discreet surveillance or specific checks,
- information concerning the tactical and technical methods of the police included in the personal data referred to in sections 5–8 of the Act on the Processing of Personal Data by the Police,
- observation data, personal data of covert human intelligence sources or data used for forensic investigation purposes, or
- personal data acquired using the intelligence gathering methods referred to in chapter 5 of the Police Act and chapter 10 of the Coercive Measures Act or pursuant to section 157 of the Act on Electronic Communication Services.
Exercising your right of access through the Data Protection Ombudsman
If your right of access is postponed, restricted or denied, you are entitled to receive a written certificate of the same without undue delay. You have the right to be told the reasons for the postponement, restriction or denial except where disclosing the reasons would defeat the purpose of the denial or restriction.
The controller has a duty to inform you of your right to ask the Data Protection Ombudsman to investigate the grounds for any postponement, restriction or denial of your right of access as well as the possibility of exercising your right of access through the Data Protection Ombudsman.
The Data Protection Ombudsman can check the lawfulness of the personal data that the police holds concerning you on your behalf.
However, the Data Protection Ombudsman cannot reveal the contents of the filing system in question to you. This also means that you cannot be told whether or not the police holds any information about you.
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When to contact the Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman?
You can ask the Data Protection Ombudsman to check the lawfulness of your personal data and the way in which they are being processed if your right of access has been postponed, restricted or denied or if the controller refuses to comply with your request to correct inaccuracies, supplement, erase or restrict the processing of your data.
Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman
Visiting address: Lintulahdenkuja 4, 00530 Helsinki
Postal address: PO Box 800, 00531 Helsinki, FINLAND
Telephone: +358 (0)29 566 6700
Registry: +358 (0)29 566 6768
Fax: +358 (0)29 566 6735
Email (registry): [email protected]