Portugal’s Data Protection Commission said on Friday that the mayor’s office in Lisbon has been fined $1.4 million for sharing personal data of protest organizers with the embassies of countries targeted by the protests.
A fire broke out in the mayor’s office in June 2021, when Ksenia Ashrafulina, the Russian-Portuguese organizer of a protest rally in Lisbon, said she had received an email showing that the city hall had filed data on her and fellow organizers with the Russian embassy. had shared.
After an internal investigation, it was revealed that data on the organizers of 180 protests has been shared with embassies since 2012, 52 of which followed the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation – which bans such data sharing. Has – came into force in 2018.
City Hall, then led by Socialist Mayor Fernando Medina, shared data of protesters in front of the Cuban, Angolan, Venezuelan, Israeli embassies with targeted institutions.
The decision by the Data Protection Commission (CNPD), published on its website, said a total of 225 data breaches were related to the sharing of personal information of protesters with embassies and other entities by the mayor’s office between 2018 and 2021.
In a statement, the mayor’s office, now headed by Social Democrat Carlos Moedas, said the decision was “an enormous legacy of the previous leadership … left to the people of Lisbon,” adding the fines now to the budget. is a challenge.
“We will evaluate this fine in detail and assess what is best suited to protect the interests of citizens and the institution,” it said.
Medina did not immediately respond to a request for comment, Ashrafulina, who has organized a rally in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, told Reuters she was satisfied with the CNPD’s decision: “We were waiting for , and it finally arrived.”
But Ashrafulina still fears the consequences of data-sharing.
“I worry about what would happen if I ever needed to go back to Russia,” she said.