After Austria has paid its sheep, they are in for a nasty surprise

People’s payments are not very popular anywhere. When most Austrians nevertheless submitted to state-imposed capture in the spring of this year, few had any idea of what was in store for them. Received from the Ministry of Interior or municipal authorities “suspected” Residents now the request to justify why they live here and not somewhere else. And the Minister of Education also discovered the supposedly anonymous data files for her department.

Austrian data protection experts are in a boom at the moment. Hardly a day goes by without an unsettled Burger asking the ARGE data for advice. “We are currently experiencing massive interference in people’s lives through the so-called reclamation procedures. People of good character and who had hitherto lived completely inconspicuously must now justify themselves because of their way of life”, rages the data protectionist Hans G. Zeger.

Although the Austrian Constitutional Court long ago ruled that citizens are in principle free to determine and define their center of vital interests and thus their main place of residence, more and more households in Austria are being asked to explain to municipal authorities or the Ministry of the Interior why they live in a certain place.

Many Austrians were shocked by this official intrusion into their privacy. “The city of Vienna has the audacity to change the residence declarations collected in the course of the people’s payment on its own initiative. In my case at least, this is the case, as I was informed by a request for comment from the Ministry of the Interior. Specifically, MA62 has casually extended my statement ’30 days in Vienna’ to ‘230 days in Vienna’ on the grounds that the reported length of stay in Vienna is unrealistic, …”, Zeger quotes from the letter of a person concerned.

Anonymity exchanged?

Most Austrians considered the people’s payment anonymous. However, the Ministry of Interior launched a parallel action, which coupled this questioning with the establishment of a central register of residents. From a purely legal point of view, this procedure was covered. Critics, however, accuse those responsible of not having communicated this clearly to the public.

Now the paid osterreich has obviously the afterglow and is to out itself. The official curiosity is based on the struggle of the communities for inhabitants. Because every head brings money, especially since municipal budgets in austria are allocated according to the number of inhabitants. “It is completely unacceptable that disputes between communities are carried out on the backs of the population”, Zeger comments on the actions of the authorities. He had already criticized the parallel action of the Ministry of the Interior at the start of the referendum as being questionable from a data protection point of view.

“The number organs act at the same time as organs of the Ministry of the Interior and make person-related surveys to the registration law. The goal is to create a central registry where every citizen is registered with a unique personal identifier. (…) The central registry will oblige authorities to check registration data centrally at the Ministry of the Interior every time a citizen enters the country, applies for a job or goes through any other procedure. The Ministry of the Interior is obliged to record such requests and keep them for at least three years.”, warned the ARGE data at the time.

The scathing verdict of ARGE head Hans G. Zeger: “This parallel action can be seen as the real sundenfall of the people’s payment. Since the Nazi uprising in 1933 (“General inventory of Germany”) there was no linking of statistical and personal surveys in the German-speaking countries.”

The Grunen found the people’s payment also not particularly edifying and gave tips for refusal. For the small Austrian opposition party, the necessity of this action (the last popular payment took place in 1991) was also not given. The data had long since become obsolete by the time it was analyzed, one criticism said.

Controversial education records

“Nothing is anonymous”, Peter Pilz, a member of parliament for the Green Party, saw his rejectionist stance confirmed in the fall of this year. “The data of the person sheet are processed and stored anonymously”, Pilz quoted an official declaration from March 2001. “With this arance, eight million Austrians have been exchanged in advance. Statistics Austria’ has stored the census data on a personal basis.”, says Pilz. The rationale behind this accusation: In July 2001, the Austrian Minister of Education, Elisabeth Gehrer (oVP), submitted an “Federal Law on Documentation in Education” submitted for review. In it hewed: “For the purpose of the initial filling of the register of educational attainment (ยง 10), the federal agency ‘Statistik osterreich’ has been using the data collected during the rough payment with a cut-off date of 15. The data collected on May 2001 on the highest level of completed education, including field of study and auxiliary characteristics – address number, date of birth and gender – are to be stored.”

What the Ministry of Education demanded “Educational Evidence” The question of what education policy should actually achieve was not clear to many experts either. Some points have been changed in a revision, but the following are still valid, “however, the main points of stress of the educational evidence remained”, resumed the ARGE data: “Storing debt detail data for more than 60 years, unclear delimitation of which data is actually stored: z.B. ‘special educational needs’, which can be used to hide all forms of disciplinary and developmental measures”, the hour traps are paid up in the bill. Finally it still comes to “Misuse of Social Security Number and Census Data.”

Peter Pilz sees this as another step in the direction of “Glassy man” . The Minister of Education is obviously concerned with the “Exports of people’s payment data from anonymity”, With the central evidence, it was possible, for example, to link children’s educational data with their parents’ professional careers, Pilz fears.

The so-called education evidence had earned the conservative Minister of Education a nomination for this year’s Big Brother Award-Austria. She was in a neck-and-neck race with the FPo club leader, Peter Westenthaler, who finally won the cockroaches (FPo fingerprint fantasies win with the audience) for his demand for digital fingerprints for all.

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