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Czech Big Brother Awards awards worst privacy culprits

A nine-member jury of technology experts, lawyers, human rights defenders and journalists awarded anti-prizes in four categories. The first “prize”, for “Long-Term Snooper”, was won by the Ministry of Health for a series of mistakes in handling personal data during the epidemic. The jury emphasised problems in the legislative work, especially with regards to the proposal that hygienists should be granted access to location data from operators, as well as to the apparent illegal transfer of data on people in quarantine to the Czech police by the Hygiene department, which was ordered by the Ministry. Last but not least, the Ministry also received the award for problems with data leaks, including everything from registration forms for testing and later vaccinations to advertising giants, which were caused by the incorporation of tracking elements of these companies in web registration forms.

Deputies Monika Červíčková and Jiří Mašek (both from the ANO populist party) won the award for the Official Snooper for their proposal to introduce mandatory registration of birth numbers of people buying anonymous SIM cards. The amendment submitted would oblige prepaid SIM card sellers to obtain data from their buyers; birth dates of Czech citizens and, names, birth date and place of foreigners. Sellers would be obliged to pass this data on to operators, who would then pass it on to the police and intelligence services on request.

The “Snooper Company” award was won by the Czech Company Cogniware, that manufactures the Cogniware Insights system. The system includes modules to evaluate evidence using artificial intelligence methods using voice recognition and biometrics to recognise people by face, age or emotion. “The development of such a tracking system, which could affect everybody‘s privacy