Processing of personal data: Travel and consular services
Finland’s diplomatic and consular missions abroad provide various public services abroad. Travellers can visit a mission, for example to apply for a new Finnish passport, to get certain notary services, or to vote in elections held in Finland.
Finland’s diplomatic and consular missions abroad are primarily responsible for providing advice and guidance so that consular service recipients can handle matters independently. In addition, travellers who are in distress abroad due to an accident or an illness can contact a mission to get assistance. In case of a crisis, such as an earthquake or other natural disasters, major accidents and terrorist attacks, Finnish mission can assist in the organisation of evacuation in order to protect travellers’ personal security.
The Foreign Ministry’s 24/7 Service Centre is open round the clock every day of the year for Finnish travellers in distress abroad. Phone calls to the 24/7 Service Centre are recorded. The data are used primarily to verify the service event. The recordings may also be used in the development of the quality of the service.
Register at matkustusilmoitus.fi and submit details of your journey to destinations abroad. In the event of a crisis or emergency in your travel destination, the Foreign Ministry can then reach you to provide advice or assistance. If you wish, you can also use the service to inform us about a new permanent residence abroad and give your consent to being contacted, in which case we will save your data so that we are 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 the local Finnish mission 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.
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 retain your phone number for the duration of your subscription for possible text messages).
What information is collected 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. In crisis situations, we may obtain information about you from other sources as well, including friends and family, travel agencies, and local authorities and hospitals.
Based on a decision given by the National Archives Service under the Archives Act, data entered into the case management system for consular matters is preserved permanently. The Ministry’s 24/7 Service Centre retains records of phone calls for six (6) months.
At matkustusilmoitus.fi, you are asked to submit your travel details and, should a crisis occur, the following information: your name, date of birth, nationality, phone number and email address. If you are moving to a permanent residence abroad, 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 deleted 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.
Should a crisis occur, we process your personal data based on your 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, occasionally, on Article 6, paragraph 1, point d of the GDPR.
While carrying out our duties related to communications, we process personal data to perform tasks carried out in the 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:
- the Consular Services Act
- the Act on the Foreign Service
- the Government Decree on the Ministry for Foreign Affairs
- 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. As a rule, information concerning individual recipients of consular services is secret information and we do not disclose it except under certain conditions laid down in law.
We can disclose data from your personal data file to be able to provide consular services mainly only subject to your consent. However, we are entitled to disclose your personal data without your consent and notwithstanding the secrecy provisions to Finnish authorities or the authorities of a foreign country (such as healthcare and social welfare authorities, rescue authorities, police, the foreign ministry or mission of another EU Member State) to be able to carry out duties on which provisions are laid down in the Consular Services Act, if this is essential for your life, health or physical or psychological wellbeing. Data may also be disclosed based on a statutory request for information by another authority, such as the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (KELA), healthcare and social welfare authorities, the police.
We do not disclose personal data for direct marketing, market surveys, and opinion polls.
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.