Everyone has the right to the protection of fundamental rights

Personal data protection, the right to privacy and the right to security are human rights that should accompany each of us, even in the most dramatic situations. Therefore, the Personal Data Protection Office (UODO) is closely monitoring the situation of refugees from Ukraine.

The Polish DPA, receiving signals of irregularities related to the observance of the fundamental right which is the protection of personal data and the right to privacy, in relation to refugees from Ukraine, will analyse them in detail.

It should be borne in mind that the observance of fundamental rights, compliance with personal data protection standards, which are provided for citizens of our country, should apply to everyone, including refugees from Ukraine. Rules related to the protection of personal data cannot violate the fundamental rights and freedoms of every person, regardless of citizenship.

All activities undertaken for the benefit of Ukrainian citizens staying in Poland should respect the right to personal data protection and the right to privacy. When providing assistance to refugees from Ukraine, interference with fundamental rights should be properly balanced. Therefore, data controllers wishing to introduce processes facilitating and coordinating the stay of Ukrainians in Poland should assess whether these processes, in terms of personal data protection, do not excessively interfere with the privacy of refugees and whether they result from legal provisions, whether they are compatible with them, etc.

The role of the supervisory authority in Poland is not only to monitor and enforce the application of the GDPR, but equally importantly to disseminate awareness of the provisions of the GDPR to the public. The Personal Data Protection Office endeavours to provide assistance to individuals in the field of personal data protection by, inter alia, continuing numerous educational and information campaigns. Therefore, in view of the difficult situation caused by the attack of the Russian Federation on Ukraine, the Office has prepared special guidance material, which acquaints Ukrainian refugees with their rights under the GDPR and explains how to exercise these rights. The guidance has been prepared in Ukrainian and English. The Office has also launched a special e-mail address where Ukrainian citizens staying in Poland will be able to obtain any information in this regard ‒ (active on weekdays from 8.00 to 16.00).