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Swiss Abroad Rules about handling of expat Swiss data to change

Woman at a computer processing medical data

Medial data but also information about welfare payments and the criminal record of expat Swiss are at the centre of the proposed legal reform. 

(© Keystone/Christian Beutler)

The government wants to make it easier for the foreign ministry to process data about expatriate Swiss citizens, notably in order to ease consular services.

The legal reform would take into account the latest technological and social developments in respect of data protection, according to a statement by the foreign ministry on Wednesday. 

“This legal amendment is not aimed at changing the ministry’s activities,” it said. 

The bill, which still has to be discussed in   parliament, foresees the processing of medical data as well as information about administrative and criminal sanctions, and welfare payments. 

For search, rescue and evacuation missions, the data could also be an be handed on to third parties, according to the ministry. 

However, the government dropped  plans to systematically administer sensitive personal data of foreign ministry personnel stationed abroad, notably working for international organisations, following criticism in a consultation procedure. 

There are currently about 760,000 registered Swiss citizens living around the globe, notably in neighbouring European countries and in North America. 

Head count Expat Swiss community hits 760,000

The number of Swiss Abroad citizens grew by 1.1% to reach 760,200 at the end of last year. Most live in neighbouring countries and in the US.

This content was published on March 28, 2019 2:36 PM

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