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’Digital citizenship’ seen as a ’Big Brother’ project

January 4th, 2024

An independent lawyer fears that a fresh constitutional amendment may enable the authorities and internet providers to get access to citizens’ full profiles.

On Index, András Schiffer the founder of LMP who left politics in 2016 but remained a public intellectual vituperates against the latest amendment to the Fundamental Law that allows citizens to receive a digital identification code which will allow them to solve their issues with public authorities and health providers online. Schiffer acknowledges that ‘digital citizenship’ will be introduced on a voluntary basis but recalls that in 1989 when the last communist government introduced citizens’ ‘personal numbers’, the Constitutional Court deemed uniting all citizen data in one code unconstitutional, therefore Hungarians have separate health insurance numbers, address cards, and tax authority numbers. Schiffer condemns the new measure as a way of incorporating into the constitution rules that were found unconstitutional by the court and fears that ‘digital citizenship’ may develop into a ‘Big Brother system’ where authorities and – typically foreign – internet providers may get access to all the vital information they want about Hungarian citizens.

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