Could you check whether an intelligence service or the Coordination Unit for Threat Assessment has collected information on you?
By definition, intelligence services operate in secret. Discretion is thus required. Hence it is not easy to determine whether and what information the intelligence services or the Coordination Unit for Threat Assessment keep on citizens. Nevertheless, the law makes provison for several possibilities
Via the Standing Committee I
The Standing Committee I can examine all documents in possession of the intelligence services. It can thus also request individual files on citizens (for example, in relation to a complaint or denunciation) and examine the way in which the services have collected, processed and analysed personal information. If the examination proves that the information is incorrect or out of date, it will be mentioned in the report sent to the competent minister. The results of the examination are reported to the complainant in general terms.
Via a request addressed to the services concerned
Under the Open Government Act of 11 April 1994, any citizen can request the consultation of the documents concerning him by the intelligence services and the Coordination Unit for Threat Assessment, and even request copies of them. The right of examination and copies can however be refused in a number of cases (e.g. on account of law and order, national security or defence of the State). The Council of State has already ruled on that an intelligence service is obliged to justify any refusal in concreto.
If the authority refuses to grant the request for examination and/or copies, a second request can be submitted. If the authority stands by its first decision, the citizen concerned can turn to the Council of State. Under this Act, the correction of personal data can be requested when it is proved that the information of the authority is incorrect or incomplete.
Via a request adressed to the Commission for the Protection of Privacy
Another possibility consists in turning to the Commission for the Protection of Privacy, which itself exercises the right of access and correction. The citizen himself is not allowed to consult the personal data collected by the intelligence service or the coordination unit. If applicable, the Commission for the Protection of Privacy can make recommendations for change to the authority in question. It may also inform the requester that a check has been done, without releasing information on the content of the file.
Via notification by the intelligence services
In some cases, the head of the intelligence service must inform the person concerned in writing that he/she was subjected to a special intelligence collection method. The information disclosed specifies the legal context within which the service was authorised to employ this method. Two cumulative conditions are provided for. On the one hand, a period of five years must have passed since the method was ended, and on the other hand, no new data must have been collected about the person concerned during this period.