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Civic Chamber urges refining of bill on data of missing persons provided by operators

16:39 08/10/2020

MOSCOW, October 8 (RAPSI) – Experts of Russia’s Civic Chamber have proposed to elaborate a bill on the data of missing people service operators are obliged to provide, the body’s press service informs on Thursday.

A day earlier, the Chamber hosted public hearings on a draft federal law envisaging amendments to the legislation as to the data of missing persons operators are obliged to provide.

Member of the Civic Chamber Commission for Youth Affairs, Promotion of Volunteering Activities, and Patriotic Upbringing, Chair of voluntary search-and-rescue team Lisa Alert Grigory Sergeyev urged refining of the law citing the Interior Ministry information that in 2018 and 2019 about 180,000 missing persons were registered in Russia.

In her turn, member of Civic Chamber Commission on Development of Information Community, Mass Media, and Mass Communications Yekaterina Mizulina observed that no representatives of the agencies, whose work was to be directly regulated by the law, were present at the meeting; at the same time the problem of missing persons, especially as concerns children and disabled people, retains urgency. The bill needs to be elaborated in the course of a wide public discussion with participation of all stakeholders, Mizulina said.

An important point in need of refining, the Chamber Commission member noted, is protection and prevention of possible leaks of personal data as citizens have fears about risks of abuse thereof. Another aspect needed to be reflected in the legislation is that not only use of mobile devices is needed in search for missing persons; it is important to educate people and explain to them certain basic rules, Mizulina said. People wandering in the wilderness need to be able to use compass, know what they need to have with them, like matches, warm clothes, and so on; the Emergency Ministry is to be involved in the issues of prevention.

Yet another problem the participants focused on was that of the state of the equipment used by service providers and the means available for those conducting search and rescue operations. According to rescuer Alexander Mikhailov, outside of urban areas the geolocation accuracy fell dramatically; an answer, he believed, was coordination of search and rescue efforts with large service providers and further improvement of special equipment and techniques used for these purposes.

The expert present at the meeting proposed that service providers included in their user agreements a point envisaging that the users give their permission as to use of their geolocation data in cases they went missing or were in an emergency situation, or in helpless state, or their lives and health were at risk.

Representatives of service providers backed the initiative on condition that access to personal data of their users without a respective court ruling could be granted only for the purposes of search for missing persons.

The new law needs to include all necessary components to facilitate search and rescue operations, Sergeyev said in conclusion.

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Civic Chamber urges refining of bill on data of missing persons provided by operators

16:39 08/10/2020 Experts of Russia’s Civic Chamber have proposed to elaborate a bill on the data of missing people service operators are obliged to provide.
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