Transparency principle

The Bill on Information and Data Protection (BIDP) in brief

The Bill on Information and Data Protection (BIDP) (German) outlines the principles according to which public authorities act vis-à-vis the citizen. The Cantonal authorities pursue an active information policy, i.e. they communicate matters of general interest of their own accord. The website of the cantonal BIDP Coordination Center (German) will give you the information you searched for regarding the transparency principle.

Data protection

On the other hand, data protection guarantees the protection of privacy of natural and legal persons. Whenever information on persons is gathered, processed or published, this means a limitation of fundamental rights like personal freedom and the right to privacy under the Swiss Constitution.

The Bill on Information and Data Protection (BIDP) (German) determines the necessary rules and the Data Protection Officer (German) of the Canton of Zurich monitors compliance with them.

The BIDP in the Canton of Zurich

The new Cantonal Constitution (German) introduced the transparency principle in the Canton of Zurich starting 1 January 2006. This means that any official activity, with only a few exceptions, is done in a transparent fashion and publicly accessible and that those interested can gain access to information of the cantonal authorities. To express this constitutional right in more concrete terms, the Bill on Information and Data Protection (BIDP) (German) and the respective Ordinance (IDPO) (German) as well as other amendments to the cantonal legal system have been adopted. They entered into force on 1 October 2008. The simultaneous entry into force of the Bill and the Ordinance provides for a harmonised adherence to the transparency principle in the Canton of Zurich, with due respect of data protection (German).

The Bill focuses on the following:

  • Consistent interlocking between the transparency principle and data protection
  • Public authorities' duty to supply information and individual right to information access
  • Protection of privacy
  • Revision of data protection
  • Obligation to pay fees for access to information