The Convention for the protection of individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data (Strasbourg, 28.01.1981) stipulates that each Party shall designate one or more authorities to render each other mutual assistance in order to implement this convention. Later on, the Additional Protocol to the Convention for the protection of individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data, regarding supervisory authorities and transborder data flows (Strasbourg, 08.11.2001) says that each Party shall provide for one or more authorities to be responsible for ensuring compliance with the measures in its domestic law giving effect to the principles stated in Chapters II and III of the Convention (dealing with basic principles for data protection and transborder data flows) and in this Protocol.
Speaking about the Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, it should be mentioned that it stipulates that each Member State shall provide that one or more public authorities are responsible for monitoring the application within its territory of the provisions adopted by the Member States pursuant to this Directive.
Also, both the Additional Protocol to the above mentioned Convention and the Directive 95/46/EC establish explicitly that these authorities shall act with complete independence in exercising the functions entrusted to them.
In this context, according to the Law Nr. 17-XVI of 15.02.2007 on personal data protection, the authority responsible for the control over the compliance of personal data processing with the present law provisions in the Republic of Moldova is the National Center for Personal Data Protection. For the implementation of this law, there was adopted the Law Nr. 182-XVI of 10.07.2008 regarding the approval of the Statute, structure, staff-limit and financial arrangements of the National Center for Personal Data Protection.
On the basis of these laws, the Center obtained the status of an autonomous public authority, independent of other public authorities, natural persons and legal entities.
The Center’s aim is to protect the fundamental freedoms and rights of natural persons, especially the right for private life regarding the processing and transborder transfer of personal data.
The staff of the Center consists of public servants and contracted employees, employed through a contest within the provisions of the legislation in force. In the fulfillment of their duties, the officials of the Center are enabled to have free access to the premises and territory of personal data holders and to the necessary documents, except for the documents that contain information qualified as state secret.
With the view of consulting and assisting the Center, the Consultative Council by the Center is created on a voluntary principle. The Chairman of the Consultative Council is the Director of the Center.
In order to carry out the control in the field of personal data processing, the Law Nr. 17-XVI establishes the following competences for the Center:
• supervises the observance of the legislation on information protection and controls its enforcement, in particular the right to information, access, correction, appeal or removal of data;
• offers necessary instructions for adjusting the personal data processing in accordance with the present law’s principles, without affecting the field of competence of other bodies;
• examines the personal data subjects` addresses on compliance of the personal data content and the processing methods with the processing purposes and undertakes the relevant decisions;
• presents information to personal data subjects on their rights regarding their personal data processing;
• requires necessary information for the performance of its duties and receives free of charge this information from legal entities and natural persons;
• realizes the control of information on personal data processing or involves in such kind of control other public authorities within their competence;
• requires from the personal data holder the adjustment, blocking or destruction of the invalid or illegally obtained personal data;
• undertakes necessary measures, in the way provided by the law, on suspension or stopping of the personal data processing, performed by violation of the present law’s requirements;
• addresses requests to judicial authorities for protecting the rights of the personal data subjects and represents their interests in the courts;
• keeps the register of the personal data holders;
• obtains from the personal data holders the necessary support and information for carrying out the Center’s attributions;
• draws up reports on the violation of the present law, in the way established by the law;
• transmits to prosecuting bodies and other law enforcement bodies the materials for decision making on beginning criminal prosecution in case of delinquency indicators` presence regarding the violation of the rights of personal data subjects according to competences;
• informs the public authorities, as well as personal data subjects, on the basis of their petitions and interpellations, on the existing situation in the field of protection of personal data subjects` right;
• informs periodically the institutions and society about its activity, about the priority problems and concerns in the field of rights protection of the person;
• other functions provided by the law.
The Center is led by a Director, appointed by the Parliament by the majority of votes of the elected deputies on the proposal, depending on the case, of the Chairman of the Parliament, a parliamentary fraction or at least 15 deputies, for a 5 year mandate. The person appointed as Director may not hold this post for more than two consecutive mandates.
While exercising his attributions, the Director is assisted by a Deputy Director, appointed in function by the Parliament, on the proposal of the Director of the Center, for a 5 year mandate. During the absence of the Director of the Center, the Deputy Director exercises temporary the duties of the Director.
Through the Parliament Decision Nr. 233 of 13.11.2008, Mr. Vitalie PANISH (in Moldavian it is written as PANIŞ) was appointed as Director of the National Center for Personal Data Protection and through the Parliament Decision Nr. 08 of 03.02.2009, Mr. Vasile FOLTEA was appointed as Deputy Director of the National Center for Personal Data Protection.
The permanent headquarters of the Center is located in Chişinău municipality, 48, Serghei Lazo str.