Court rejected an injunction petition against INDEC in the context of the national census

Court rejected an injunction petition against INDEC in the context of the national census

By Mariano Peruzzotti and Andrea Sanchez Vicentini.

The Federal Court in Contentious Administrative matters No. 12 of the City of Buenos Aires rejected an injunction petition in the context of a class action introduced by  Fundación Vía Libre and the Observatory of Argentine Technology Law against the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INDEC, in Spanish). As a precautionary measure, the plaintiffs requested the court to order the suspension of the National Census of Population, Homes and Dwellings (“Census”) or the collection of the Identification Nr.

The arguments of the plaintiffs were the following:

  • The inclusion of the ID in the census record contradicts legal provisions and seriously affects the rights to privacy and informational self-determination.
  • Collecting the ID is contrary to the principle of anonymization that prevails in census matters as it allows the individual’s identification.
  • There is an IT security risk considering that the company entrusted of conducting the census will have access to the individuals’ IDs as well and all individuals’ personal data  including sensitive data.
  • Identified personal data stored in the INDEC database is subject to a security incident such a computer attack.

The Court considered that it was neither proved any unlawful or arbitrariness of INDEC when designing the census, both in person or virtual, nor were any personal rights violation.

Likewise, the ruling states that the final census form does not include any question related to the ID of the individual which is only required as a validation mechanism to access to the platform and is then disregarded.

Therefore, the Court considered that there was no evidence of privacy rights violation in the case.

It should be noted that the decision refers specifically to the precautionary measure.

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