The Position of the Church in Connection with the Development of Identification Technologies and Processing of Personal Data

  1. Lemma
  2. Позиция Церкви в связи с развитием технологий учета и обработки персональных данных
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Orthodox view on technology and engineering
  6. 17-05-2018
  7. Освященный Архиерейский Собор Русской Православной Церкви. Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church [Author]. Позиция Церкви в связи с развитием технологий учета и обработки персональных данных
  8. Русская Православная Церковь. Официальный сайт Московского Патриархата.
  9. identification technologies - Information technology - Russian Orthodox Church - personal data - technology and spirituality
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Освященный Архиерейский Собор Русской Православной Церкви (2013). Позиция Церкви в связи с развитием технологий учета и обработки персональных данных. <em>Русская Православная Церковь: Официальный Сайт Московкого Патриархата</em>. Retrieved from: <a href=""></a> </p>
    1. The document on new identification and data processing technologies developed by the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) in February 2013 states that the Church has been studying the issue since 2001. The Council’s statement stresses that the ROC does not deny the need to identify and collect data on citizens as these measures “are necessary for the protection of law and order and public security, and the fulfillment of economic and social functions.” The Church also does not justify those who evade civil obligations. It points out, however, that it is necessary to “protect the right of citizens to live in a society in accordance with their beliefs and principles.” That is why the ROC believes that currently it is also necessary to advance the “theological, moral and civic understanding of accounting and identification problems.”

      The document mentions that thousands of people, including Orthodox believers, do not wish to accept new identification systems, to use documents with electronic identifiers of identity (personal code, bar coding, identification numbers). Many of these people report violations of their constitutional rights. Often these people are deprived of medical assistance, retirement pensions and other payments. Sometimes they cannot make transactions with property, go to school or work, pay for utilities, purchase travel documents, etc. As a result, a large group of people finds itself excluded from public and civic spheres of life.

      The Bishops’ Council’s statement underlines that the Church is convinced that new technologies should not be non-alternative and compulsory. The document further explains that due to the fact that the possession of personal information creates the opportunity to control a person through various spheres of life, new technologies represent a real danger not only of interfering in a person's daily life, but also of creating temptation for his soul. Moreover, the Church suggests that the consent of citizens to use electronic identification technologies must be accompanied by a mandatory explanation of all consequences of the decision. Citizens must have access to the contents of electronic records, as well as be able to modify or delete them. Documents issued by the state should not contain information, which is incomprehensible or hidden from the owner of the document, as well as symbols that are sacrilegious, morally questionable or offend the feelings of believers.

      The document concludes by stating that the Church has been discussing these issues with the authorities of the states that have Orthodox Churches attached to the Moscow Patriarchate. The statement also mentions that it is closely monitoring technological developments and will do so in the future all cases of discrimination against those who refuse to use new identification technologies.