Privacy statement for the Finnish Register of Religious Communities

Controller

Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH)
Mailing address: Finnish Patent and Registration Office, FI-00091 PRH, Finland
Street address: Sörnäisten rantatie 13 C, Helsinki, Finland
Tel. +358 29 509 5000

Representative of controller

Mr Lalli Knuutila
Head of Registration
lalli.knuutila(at)prh.fi
Tel. +358 29 509 5018

Data protection officer

Mr Olli Vento
olli.vento(at)prh.fi
Tel. +358 29 509 5743

Purpose of and legal basis for processing personal data

Under the Finnish Freedom of Religion Act (Uskonnonvapauslaki 453/2003), the Finnish Register of Religious Communities is kept by the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH). The register contains information on religious communities and their local communities.

The PRH maintains the Finnish Register of Religious Communities on the basis of start-up notifications, notifications of changes, and notifications of dissolution (termination) submitted by religious communities, congregations and local communities, carries out preliminary checks of bylaws and of changes made to them, and provides information to customers.

In addition to the effect of publicity, some of the entries in the register have a constitutive effect.

The processing is necessary to comply with the controller’s legal obligation.

Personal data and categories of data subjects in the register

The following details about religious communities and their local communities are recorded in the register: the chairperson of the executive committee or board, and the persons entitled to sign for the community. Other members in the executive committee or board are also entered in the register if they have been notified to the register. Registered members of the executive committee or board are considered as actual beneficial owners of communities.

In cases provided by law, other persons may also be registered, such as the liquidators of a dissolved community.

The following details of persons are registered: the full name, personal identity code, municipality of residence, and citizenship. The date of birth is registered if the person does not have a Finnish personal identity code. If the person lives outside Finland, the home address is registered instead of the municipality of residence.

A list of founding members of the community must be enclosed with the start-up notification. It must include their full name, personal identity code, or the date of birth if the person does not have a Finnish personal identity code, and the date of joining the community. Founding members are not recorded in the Finnish Register of Religious Communities, and the list is not public.

Sources of information

Religious communities and their local communities are registered on the basis of notifications submitted by communities. If a religious community and its local community want to be registered as a religious community or its local community, it must file a start-up notification with the PRH. When the registered details change, communities must submit the new details to the register. Details are also entered in the register on the basis of notifications submitted by authorities or courts of law.

Communities notified to the Finnish Register of Religious Communities are also registered at the Finnish Business Information System (BIS) and its Business Identity Code Register. It gives communities a Finnish Business Identity Code (Business ID) and registers the address and other contact details of communities. See also the privacy statement for the Finnish Business Information System.

Under an agreement between the PRH and the Finnish Population Register Centre, the PRH can update its records and check the personal details given in notifications and enclosures by using the Finnish Population Information System.

Disclosure of personal data to third parties

Information can be obtained from the register using the online information service of the Finnish Register of Associations, by ordering extracts, certificates or documents, and by telephone enquiry. Contract clients have registered data directly delivered to their application through a technical interface. Notifications and enclosures submitted by communities can be studied at the PRH in Helsinki.

The last four digits of Finnish personal identity codes, or the home address of persons living outside Finland, are disclosed only if the requirements in section 16, subsection 3 of the Finnish Act on the Openness of Government Activities (Laki viranomaisten toiminnan julkisuudesta 621/1999) are fulfilled. In other cases, the person’s date of birth is disclosed instead of the personal identity code, and for a person living outside Finland, the person’s country of residence is disclosed instead of the home address.

As an exception to this, the PRH may disclose copies of notifications and enclosures filed with the Finnish Register of Religious Communities, without an account of their use, if the notifications were filed on paper and have arrived at the PRH before 16 September 2019.

The list of founding members of a religious community is secret under section 24, paragraph 32 of the Finnish Act on the Openness of Government Activities. A copy of the list will only be disclosed to the chairperson of the executive committee or board, or equivalent person, in the community. When the community is registered, a copy of the list will be disclosed to the Finnish Population Register Centre, as referred to in section 16 of the Finnish Freedom of Religion Act. On the basis of the list, the Finnish Population Register Centre will register the new religious community, and the members that have joined it, in the Finnish Population Information System.

Transfer of personal data to countries outside the EU or the EEA or to international organisations

No data is transferred to countries outside the EU or the EEA or to international organisations.

Storage periods of personal data

The storage periods of the registered personal data are based on a filing plan which allows the data to be stored permanently.

Profiling and automated decision-making

The registered data are not used for profiling, and no automated decision-making is performed on the data.

Right of access to personal data

The data subject has the right to check what personal data about them have been entered into the register, or to find out that there are no such register entries. The data subject can ask the controller for access to their personal data. Read our instructions on how to request access to data.

Right to rectification of data

The data subject has the right to demand that the controller rectify without undue delay any inaccurate or incorrect personal data concerning them. Read our instructions on rectification of data.

Right to restriction of processing

The data subject has the right to demand that the controller restrict the processing of data, if the data subject contests the accuracy of the personal data. The idea is to restrict the processing for a period during which the controller can verify the accuracy of the personal data.

Right to deletion of data

The right to deletion (‘the right to be forgotten’) does not apply to the Finnish Register of Religious Communities, which is regulated by law.

Right to lodge complaint with supervisory authority

The data subject has the right to lodge a complaint with the supervisory authority (the Data Protection Ombudsman).

Printable version
Latest update 22.01.2020