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Privacy Policy

The activities of the Ministry are public. It is possible to view our materials on the basis of an information request. We publish some results of our work online.

We receive personal data, including sensitive and private information, in the course of our work. Personal data are all data about an identified or unidentified natural person that express the person’s physical, mental, physiological, economic, cultural or social characteristics, relationships and affiliation.

Please note! The information below does not cover the processing of data of legal entities and agencies and the processing of data of a natural person if the data are processed in relation to their official duties. Access to personal data is restricted by law. Through our organisation of work, we try to ensure that your privacy is infringed as little as possible.

 

Please read the explanations below if you would like to know what we do with your personal data and how your personal data become known to others via us. They cover the following situations:

These explanations do not concern the retention of the data of legal entities and other agencies. Nor do they cover the processing of personal data on the other websites referred to on our website (external links).

The right to view your data

 

You have the right to view the data that we have collected about you. In order to do this, please submit an information request and we will get back to you as soon as possible but no later than within one month. We will issue the data concerning you on paper or electronically as requested by you.

We can refuse to satisfy your information request if this may:

a. damage the rights and freedoms of another person
b. damage national security
c. prevent or damage the prevention, detection or processing of an offence or the enforcement of punishments

You have the right to request the correction of incorrect personal data.

You have the right to request that we restrict the use of your personal data or delete them if we (no longer) have a legal basis for using your personal data.

You will receive an answer to all of your questions related to the processing of your personal data at the Ministry from our Data Protection Officer. Please send an e-mail to andmekaitse@mfa.ee.

You have the right to file complaints about our decisions and activities to a supervisory authority or go to administrative court.

Responding to explanation requests, memos and information requests

 

We use your personal data to respond to you. If we have to send queries to other persons or authorities in relation to this, we will not disclose more of your data to them than is necessary for preparing the response.

If you have sent us a memo, an explanation request or an information request that another agency has the competence to respond to, we will pass it on to them. We will definitely inform you if we pass it on.

Data of correspondence, including the data of the sender or the addressee and the title of the document, are disclosed in the document register pursuant to the Public Information Act. Your first name and surname will not be shown in the public part of the document register, only your initials will be disclosed. The title we give to a document will be a keyword that characterises its content or, in the case of a letter with sensitive content, we use ‘Forwarded Information’, ‘Request’ or ‘Information Request’. A more detailed title can only be seen internally. We do this to protect your privacy, as people often contact us about sensitive issues.

Access restrictions apply to correspondence with private persons. If someone wants to view your correspondence and submits an information request, we will assess upon receipt of the information request whether the partial or full issue of your letter (and our response) would significantly damage your privacy or whether your letter and our response include other information subject to access restriction. Restriction of access depends on the content of the document. The possible grounds for access restrictions are specified in § 35 of the Public Information Act. Your personal contact details, such as your e-mail address, telephone number or address, will not be issued (unless you represent a legal entity or agency).

If you write to us on behalf of a legal entity or agency (e.g. as a reporter working for a media publication), please use your work-related contact details instead of your private ones. Such contact details are public in the document register.

Irrespective of access restrictions, we will issue the document to the agency or person who is entitled to request this pursuant to law (e.g. an investigation agency, a person who conducts pre-trial proceedings or a court). We may also use our correspondence with your internally for assessing the quality of our work. We publish statistics and summaries of correspondence impersonally, without names.

Contacting us to receive consular services or assistance

 

We use your personal data to guarantee consular services or assistance to you. Your data may become known to third parties if we have to contact other persons or agencies or send them documents in relation to this. We will not disclose more of your data to them than is necessary for guaranteeing the service or arranging assistance.

 

Access to submitted personal data is restricted. The possible grounds for access restrictions are specified in § 35 of the Public Information Act.
Your data – primarily your name and the fact of the event – may become public in some cases, e.g. when consular assistance is arranged. We will not confirm or disclose these data ourselves without your consent or, if obtaining your consent is impossible, without the consent of your loved ones.

The data will be used to contact your or, if necessary, your loved ones and exchange operative information. We also use the submitted data to assess the quality of our agency’s work and for statistics. Such statistics and summaries are published without names.

Registration of a short stay abroad

 

When your register your travels, you voluntarily give us information about the place and duration of your or your travelling companion’s stay in a foreign country as a tourist or business traveller.

The information given by you or about you upon registration will be used if a crisis has occurred in the region or if something has happened to you that makes the arrangement of consular assistance necessary. Your data may become known to third parties if we have to contact other persons or agencies in relation to this. We will not disclose more of your data to them than is necessary for arranging assistance.

Access to the submitted data is generally restricted. The grounds for access restriction are specified in § 35 of the Public Information Act.
Your data – primarily your name and the fact of the event – may become public in some cases. We will not confirm or disclose these data ourselves without your consent or, if obtaining your consent is impossible, without the consent of your loved ones.

The data will be used to contact your or, if necessary, your loved ones and exchange operative information. We also use the submitted data to assess the quality of our agency’s work and for statistics. Such statistics and summaries are published without names.

Visiting the website, participating in surveys, calling the helpline

 

If you visit the Ministry’s website, the data collected and retained about you are limited to:

  • the IP address of the computer or computer network used by you
  • the name and address of the provider of the computer or computer network used by you
  • the time of the visit (time, date, year)

We will not link IP addresses to personal identification data. We collect and retain data about the part of the website you visited and for how long you stayed there. We use these data for visitor statistics, which help us develop our website and make it more user-friendly. Data are retained for seven days.
If you participate in a survey, we may in some cases request your name and contact details, which will be used to contact you in the cases indicated in the survey (e.g. to arrange the receipt of the prize you have won in a quiz about Estonia). We only publish the submitted data in non-personalised format.These data will be retained for six months.

We publish summaries of calls to the helpline in non-personalised format. The Ministry records telephone calls for the performance of the functions arising from the Consular Act and the recordings will be retained for three months.

Applying for a job or an internship in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

Personal data is collected about the persons applying for a job or an internship in the Ministry. We proceed from the information disclosed by the person themselves and the information obtained from public sources. We presume that we can communicate with the persons listed by the applicant as references without asking for permission.

 

The candidate has the right to know which data we have collected about them, view the collected data and give explanations or make objections. Only the persons involved in the recruitment process may view the application documents. Access to the information of applicants is restricted and third parties (incl. competent agencies) may only access it in the cases stipulated by law.

We use the documents submitted upon application and the data therein to assess suitability for the vacancy or identification of the best place for the internship. We may also use the data associated with job or internship applications to assess the quality of our agency’s work and for statistics. Such statistics and summaries are published without names.

We retain the documents received during recruitment for resolution of legal disputes that may arise during the recruitment process until the expiry of the claim (one year).

Visiting the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

The visitors entering the building are first met by the employee working at the visitors’ entrance or a member of the security team who has the right to ask you to show an identity document. All visitors are registered (name, ID code and time of visit) and they are only allowed to enter the building when accompanied by an employee of the Ministry. The building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its surroundings are under 24-hour video surveillance. The movement of persons in the building and the territory of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (car parks, areas adjacent to the building) is recorded for security purposes.

The personal data obtained during video surveillance are only used internally to guarantee the security of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its employees and visitors. These personal data are retained for three months.

Personal data breaches

 

If a personal data breach has been identified in the Ministry that may pose a threat to the rights and freedoms of natural persons, the Data Protection Officer must inform the Data Protection Inspectorate of this. We will definitely take measures to eliminate the breach immediately.
We will inform you if your rights and freedoms are likely to be damaged to a significant extent as a result of the breach. The purpose of notifying you is to allow you to take the necessary precautions to resolve the situation.

Copying the digital information related to you and its use in private interests

 

Some of the information related to you is in digital format. Only the first name and first letter of the surname of private persons are visible in the document register published on our website. The Ministry collects information for performance of the functions assigned to it by law. The Public Information Act is applied to the information in our possession. This Act stipulates that information to which access is not restricted and which is disclosed on websites and public databases can be reused by everyone in their business or other private interests. Information can be downloaded for reuse in machine-readable format and added to information collected elsewhere.

The Ministry has decided NOT to disclose the following for reuse as open data in order to protect the privacy of people:

a. information in the document management system
b. information in the Estonian development cooperation and humanitarian aid database

 

Last updated: 15 September 2020

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