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Data Collection Scandal Forces Officials to Quit

Victor Morales, the president's Chief of Staff, resigned after admitting he didn't carefully read the decree that unleashed public outrage

Four top Costa Rican officials stepped down this past week amid a probe over the illegal use of private personal data by the the data analysis section (UPAD) installed within executive offices, that has been allegedly been compiling and analyzing private personal data for years.

Victor Morales, the president’s Chief of Staff, resigned after admitting he didn’t carefully read the decree that unleashed public outrage

The data analysis unit has been compiling and analyzing private personal data requested from various government entities, with the objective to help in the development of public policies.

The issue is that said unit had no legal right to do so until the government published a decree last month granting it the authorization to ask other government bodies for confidential personal data, which it withdrew within days following a public outrage.

The move led the Attorney General’s Office to raid Government House and launch an investigation against Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado and others for violation of personal data and abuse of authority.

Alvarado publicly acknowledged some mistakes were made, apologizing and assuring that steps were taken to correct.

The scandal also led to a Legislative Assembly investigation, calling on several government officials surrounding the issue, including the Chief of Staff (Minister for the Presidency), Victor Morales, who told legislators he failed to properly read the decree before signing it.

Morales resigned his charge the following day, returning to his position as legislator.

His resignation followed those of Alvarado’s legal adviser, the vice-minister of planning and vice minister of the treasury.

Written by R.TORRES

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