The Macri administration yesterday granted the Communication Secretariat access to the National Social Security Administration (ANSES) database, which contains roughly 16 million Argentines’ personal information. The reason? To allow the Secretariat to customize its public communication policies, they tell us. Members of the opposition were quick to criticize the decision, arguing it actually invades citizens’ privacy, but we’ll get to that later.
According to resolution 166 published yesterday in the Official Bulletin, ANSES will periodically send over information about citizens’ names, last names, ID numbers, addresses, phone numbers, emails, dates of birth, civil statuses and education levels. “It is essential for the government to identify, evaluate and analyze the different problems or matters of interest in every region of the country, as well as understand and detect social and cultural variables that allow to incorporate federal diversity in public communication,” reads a passage of the resolution, which goes on to inform that the agreement between organizations will last two years.
Government sources told Clarín they are specifically seeking to go from a “unidirectional style of communication to one where the message reaches whoever it has to.” “For example, when we launched the awareness campaign against dengue (a disease transferred by a certain type of mosquitoes), we had a single message. It doesn’t have to be like that. In the northern part of the country there were people who contracted the disease, in the center we had to talk about prevention and in the south we understand there are no mosquitoes,” the source said.