Processing of personal data: Travel and consular services

Processing of personal data: Travel and consular services

Finland’s diplomatic and consular missions provide public services abroad for Finnish citizens. The missions also give assistance to Finnish nationals in distress abroad (consular services). Finland’s diplomatic and consular missions abroad have the responsibility to provide advice, guidance and help to consular service recipients so that they can handle matters independently.

As a Finnish citizen, you can register at matkustusilmoitus.fi and submit details of your journey to destinations abroad or inform us about a move to a new permanent residence abroad. When informing us about a new permanent residence abroad, you can give your permission to being contacted, in which case we will save your data to be able to send you information concerning your new country of residence. The information may be related to topical news concerning the country and the services of Finland’s mission there as well as, for example, invitations to functions and events organised by the mission. Read more at Subscribing to publications and newsletters and Functions and events.

In crisis situations (such as an earthquake or terrorist attack), we may obtain information about you from other sources as well, including friends and family, travel agencies, and local authorities and hospitals.

On the Ministry for Foreign Affairs website, you can follow the Ministry’s travel advice bulletins, which provide information on travel to, residence in, or departure from a specific area or region. Alternatively, you can subscribe to information via SMS messages (in which case we will save your phone number for the duration of your subscription for possible text messages).

What information do we collect about you for our services?

To be able to receive consular services, you need to provide us with the following information: your name, personal identity code, nationality, gender, age and contact details (postal address, phone number and email address). If necessary we may save information related to your financial situation, health status and other possible circumstances relevant from the point of view of provision of consular services.

Based on a decision made by the National Archives Service under the Archives Act, data entered into the case management system for consular matters is preserved permanently.

At matkustusilmoitus.fi, you are asked to submit your travel details and, for possible crisis situations, the following information: your name, date of birth, gender, nationality, phone number and email address. If you are moving abroad on a permanent basis, you can also provide us with the name of your employer and any other information that you wish to give. We will anonymise your personal data from our files two months after you have returned home from your journey. All data related to your journey and your personal data will be removed in connection with the anonymisation of data, unless you have registered the information for future use. In that case, your personal data and travel details will remain in the system for as long as you decide to keep them in the service.

Why we process your data

We process the personal data of consular services recipients to be able to carry out our statutory duties based on Article 6, paragraph 1, point c of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU 2016/679). Should you be physically or legally incapable of giving your consent to the processing of such special categories of personal data as those concerning your health status, we are entitled to process the data in accordance with Article 9, paragraph 2, point c of the GDPR.  

In crisis situations, we process people’s personal data based on their consent. Should you be physically or legally incapable of giving your consent to the processing of your data, we can process it to protect your vital interests. The processing is based on Article 6, paragraph 1, point a or Article 6, paragraph 1, point d of the GDPR. 

While carrying out our duties related to communications, processing of personal data is based on public interest (Article 6, paragraph 1, point e of the GDPR).

Provisions on the tasks of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Finland's missions abroad are laid down, for example in: 

  1. The Consular Services Act
  2. The Act on the Foreign Service
  3. The Government Decree on the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
  4. Other sectoral legislation, such as the Passport Act and the Paternity Act. 

Transfer of personal data

We do not disclose personal data on a regular basis. However, we may disclose your personal data to the authorities, upon request, in accordance with the Act on the Openness of Government Activities. Data and documents are public, unless special provisions on their secrecy have been laid down by law.

Disclosing your personal data for the provision of consular services mainly requires your consent. However, to be able to carry out the tasks laid down in the Consular Services Act, we are entitled to disclose necessary personal data without your consent to Finnish or foreign public authorities, such as healthcare and social authorities, rescue authorities, the police, and the foreign ministry or the mission of an EU Member State. Data may also be disclosed based on a statutory request for information by another authority.

We do not disclose personal data for purposes such as direct marketing, market surveys and opinion polls.

Your rights

Remember that under the GDPR you also have rights relating to the processing of your personal data. More information about your right to data protection is available here.

For more information

If you have any questions concerning the processing of your personal data in the Foreign Service, contact the Ministry’s Data Protection Officer by email at tietosuoja(at)formin.fi.