December 11th, 2011

President appoints chief of new data protection office

President Pal Schmitt appointed Attila Peterfalvi head of Hungary’s National Data Protection and Freedom of Information Authority on Friday.

After the ceremony, Peterfalvi told reporters that the new authority would retain the functions of the data protection ombudsman, but its operations will be more in line with the European legislation. He added that it would have a broader authority and could – in case of abuse of personal data – impose fines of up to 10 million forints (EUR 33,000). 

Peterfalvi also stressed the independence of the new authority, ensured by legal guarantees and the length of his term spanning government cycles.

He was nominated for the post by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and will head the authority for nine years starting on January 1. 

Peterfalvi served as data protection ombudsman between 2001 and 2007, and has lectured at the public administration department of Corvinus University since 1986.  

Parliament in July decided on scrapping the office of the data protection ombudsman – currently filled by Andras Jori – and set up a data protection authority to replace the institution.

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