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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Privacy and Security of Medical Information
Hungary’s special approach to political and social questions is frequently analysed by the media. Taking a closer look at the details of the privacy regulations, we can also identify several unique features. For Hungary, the era of socialism ended with the proclamation of the new Republic of Hungary on 23rd October, 1989. The substantially renewed constitution was entered into force on the same day. The fundamental rights defined in the European Convention of Human Rights were included in it and, in addition, the right to the protection of personal data. The main characteristic of the legal system is that politicians understand the constitution so that it would always require passing a new law whenever they want a public authority to collect personal data for some purpose. By now, Hungary has several hundred laws and decrees in effect on the obligatory collection and transfer of personal data. The nature of such types of regulation ab ovo excludes the possibility of objection and challenging a regulation before the court. Turning our attention to healthcare, we see that medical authorities and researchers are authorized by the law to collect personal medical data without providing information and the right to object to data subjects. The author has been studying the changes in the medical privacy regulations since 2004. Here, he gives an account of the key characteristics of the Hungarian legislation and provides a comparison with the relevant European Union legislation in relation to medical data. When the EU General Data Protection Regulation came into force, the conflict between the two became obvious. This paper gives the reader an expert’s view of the Hungarian data protection policy, while attempting to pave the way to stimulate social debate concerning the necessity for better, and more privacy aware legislation.
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- Hungary’s unorthodox approach to personal privacy
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
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