Data protection in the Foreign Service

In the Foreign Service, we observe due diligence and ensure that data protection and information security are in place whenever personal data are processed. Personal data are stored only for justified reasons. As a rule, data are needed for handling the statutory tasks of the Ministry and Finland's missions abroad, for providing services and for communicating with various interest groups.

The use of the online services of the Ministry and its missions abroad is voluntary, and the personal data provided are not processed for purposes other than those indicated. For example, when you travel abroad, you can submit your travel plans and contact details to us for use in the event of an emergency or crisis. You can subscribe to our newsletters and publications, such as magazines published by the Ministry.

In the Foreign Service, we handle also different stakeholders' basic data to perform statutory tasks, such as communication under the Act on the Openness of Government Activities. The stakeholders include authorities in Finland and abroad and representatives of civil society organisations, the media and various service providers.

Processing of personal data

In the Foreign Service, personal data is obtained mainly from persons themselves (for instance when submitting travel details at or when applying for a visa).  We also obtain personal data from various authorities and cooperation parties based on legislation.

Personal data are processed only by employees who are entitled to access the data and process the matter at hand. Personal data may be processed also by cooperation parties and subcontractors that provide services, with whom the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has agreed on the processing of personal data in accordance with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation.

The data are stored in accordance with the Foreign Ministry’s information management plan or until the service in question is closed down or when the subscriber personally cancels the subscription.

Service users’ rights

As a user of services, you have the right to know what data we store about you in our systems. In addition, you may check the data we have collected concerning you and update them, if needed. You can delete your data from our systems or you can limit their processing.

  1. Right to check your own data
    You can request to have access to your personal data stored in the service by completing a printable form and sending it to the Ministry’s registry. You can request information from the Ministry’s registry also by email.
  2. Rectifying or supplementing the data
    If you notice shortcomings or errors in your data, you can ask that they be corrected. In such a case, we ask you to tell us what information is incorrect and why and how the information should be changed, or to tell us what information should be supplemented and how.
  3. Restriction of processing
    If you have indicated that your data are incorrect, you have the right to request that their processing be restricted until the accuracy of the data is verified.
  4. Withdrawal of consent to use of the data
    You can ask the Ministry in writing to erase your data from the service. The right to have data erased, laid down in the General Data Protection Regulation, does not apply when the processing of personal data is essential for managing the Ministry’s statutory duties. You can delete your subscription data yourself whenever you want by cancelling the subscription at the link included in every email message sent. Contact information of the registry
  5. Appeal or complaint concerning the processing of personal data
    If necessary, you may lodge an appeal or a complaint about the processing of your data to the Data Protection Ombudsman.

Data Protection Officer at the Foreign Service

The Data Protection Officer at the Foreign Service is Juha-Matti Laasonen.
Email is tietosuoja(at)