Citizens and journalists are the most frequent victims of digital rights violations in Serbia

The SHARE Foundation reported that digital rights have been violated 25 times this summer.

The SHARE Foundation published new results of monitoring digital rights violations. During the summer, most violations of rights were committed in the category of pressures in relation with online activities, and the victims of violations were most often citizens and journalists.

From July to September, SHARE recorded seventeen violations in the category of pressures in relation with online activities, five violations in the category of manipulation and propaganda in the digital environment, two in the category of blocking and filtering content and violations of digital security and one case of violation of digital privacy and personal data protection.

Pressures in relation with online activities have been the prevalent type of digital rights violations in the preceding period also. This category includes violations of digital rights related to honour and reputation, messages of discrimination and hatred, endangering security, limitations to freedom of expression in the work environment, as well as pressures on individuals in relation to publishing information online.

In the observed period, digital rights were mostly violated by citizens and authorities.

The biggest incident recorded during the summer was a data leak from the internet application of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce (SCC), which could represent the biggest violation of citizens’ information privacy since the Privatisation Agency, SHARE reports.

In August researchers discovered that the SCC internet application was unprotected. Due to omissions in the application, scanned ID cards and university diplomas of the users of the SCC application remained unprotected. The case was reported to the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection, who reacted quickly and the error was corrected. However, there is still a possibility that some of the data is available online, SHARE representatives commented.

A similar case occurred in 2014 when millions of citizens’ personal data leaked from the Privatisation Agency, including names and surnames, Unique Citizens Identity Numbers, and bank account numbers.

Since 2014, the Share Foundation has been monitoring violations of digital rights in Serbia and has recorded over 740 cases.

You can find out more about digital security and digital rights violations on the SHARE Foundation website.


Translation: Iskra Krstić

This article was ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED in Serbian on Oct 18, 2021.


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