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 Register of Religious Communities is maintained by the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH).

The register contains information on religious communities and their local communities.
The PRH maintains the Register of Religious Communities on the basis of notifications of establishment, amendment or dissolution submitted by religious communities, congregations and local communities, carries out preliminary checks of bylaws and of amendments 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 Freedom of Religion Act sets out the details that religious communities must submit for entry into the register. In addition, certain obligations to notify the Register of Associations, set out for courts of law in the Finnish Associations Act (Yhdistyslaki 503/1989), are applied under the Freedom of Religion Act to registered religious communities and to the Register of Religious Communities.

Under the Freedom of Religion Act, the data to be entered in the Register of Religious Communities include

  • the name of the community and the municipality where the community is based;
  • the type and date of arrival of the notification, the date of registration and registration number;
  • the provision of the bylaws setting out the manner of signing for the community;
  • the full name, municipality of residence, personal identity code and citizenship of the chairperson of the executive committee and of any other persons authorised to sign for the community on their own or together with another person. The date of birth is indicated if the person in question does not have a Finnish personal identity code. According to law, the community can also register all members of the executive committee, but it is not obligatory.
  • a preliminary check of the bylaws and of any amendment made to them;
  • any surrender in bankruptcy of the assets of the community and termination of bankruptcy proceedings, any caution or provisional prohibition of activities issued to the community, the liquidators or trustees elected or appointed for the community, and any other details necessary to maintain the register.
  • Similar information is entered in the register for congregations and local communities, as well as their belonging to a religious community.
  • The PRH submits a notification to the Finnish Population Register Centre, which files an entry in the Population Information System stating that the community’s founders have joined the community. The information referred to in section 4(3) on the founding members is enclosed with the notification.

Sources of information

The details are entered in the Register of Religious Communities on the basis of notifications submitted by religious communities, authorities and courts of law.

The notification of establishment of a religious community must be accompanied by the charter and the community bylaws. When the registered details change, the community must submit the new details to the register.

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 by ordering extracts, certificates and documents, by telephone enquiry, and by browsing the information service at the PRH in Helsinki. However, the list of founding members of a religious community is secret under section 24(32) of the Finnish Act on the Openness of Government Activities (Laki viranomaisten toiminnan julkisuudesta 621/1999).

Contract clients can view the information in the information service online, or by using application queries. Information is also available free of charge in the online information service on the PRH website. Notifications and enclosures submitted by religious communities and their local communities can be studied at the PRH in Helsinki.

Under section 24 of the Finnish Act on the Openness of Government Activities, the personal identity code of the persons entered in the register is not disclosed in the online information service. Start-up documents are secret under section 24(32) of the Finnish Act on the Openness of Government Activities.

The list is given to the Finnish Population Register Centre for its statutory duties, and for entering the community’s number into the register.

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, i.e. the ‘right to be forgotten’, does not apply to the 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 18.09.2019