Dutch intelligence service careless with privacy: supervisory committee

The AIVD building in Zoetermeer
The AIVD building in ZoetermeerPhoto: S.J. de Waard / Wikimedia Commons

Intelligence service AIVD is careless about privacy when sharing information with foreign services in the search for suspected terrorists, concludes the supervisory committee on the Dutch intelligence services CTIVD. Additional measures are required, the committee said in a report, ANP reports.

The report published on Wednesday focused on the exchange and processing of personal data by the AIVD with the dozens of European countries in the Counter Terrorism Group. The AIVD works with the intelligence services in these countries to detect possible terrorists. This involves sharing, storing and processing personal data. 

According to the CTIVD, the joint agreements about storing personal data in the database, the reliability of that data, the AIVD's management of the database, and the destruction of data that's no longer relevant, are insufficiently clear. Additional agreements must be made to guarantee the protection of fundamental rights and the effectiveness of supervision. 

The CTIVD identified two structural problems: the AIVD does not weigh the risks prior to cooperation with foreign services, and the reliability of personal data the AIVD shares with other services is not indicated.

The committee added that while more safeguards are required, the current performance of the AIVD remains largely within the boundaries of the law.

Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations, the Minister responsible for the AIVD, responded to the CTIVD report in a letter to parliament. According to Ollongren, the AIVD adheres to the law and does weigh the risks when cooperating with foreign services. She added that she wants to discuss the safeguarding of privacy with the foreign intelligence services the AIVD cooperates with. But the sharing of data is in accordance with the law and supervisors like the CTIVD can check this, she said, according to the news wire.