MPF goes to court for microdata from ENEM and the School Census

The Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office (MPF) has filed a lawsuit with the Federal Court in Brasília so that the National Institute for Educational Studies and Research Anísio Teixeira (Inep) must disclose the microdata of the 2020 National High School Exam (Enem) and the Basic Education School Census. 2021. The action asks for an injunction for Inep to make available, within 30 days, the microdata of all exams and results that have already been carried out, under penalty of payment of R$ 1000 per day, by the president of the institute.

The document points out that, in 2020 and 2021, Inep stopped disclosing part of the so-called microdata: information that allows analyzing results with cuts by race, income or even by school. This omission makes the analysis of educational markers difficult. The investigations also revealed that Inep suppressed such data on the grounds that the disclosure would violate the provisions of the General Data Protection Law (LGPD) and could allow the identification of the holders of the information.

Inep claimed that the Enem participant could be identified if he had an “open” social network and kept information such as place of birth, residence, age and school at which he graduated from high school in his “public profile”.

MEC uses LGPD to hide microdata for research

The MPF argues that researchers, private institutions, government managers and society should have direct access to information that makes it possible to carry out diagnoses, analyses, studies and research so that public educational policies can be monitored by all. The action warns that transparency is the rule in Public Administration and secrecy is the exception. The LGPD ensures the protection of data and personal information from disclosure without the consent of the holder, but does not prohibit its publication.

Participants’ information is identified exclusively by codes, without any mention of personal data, exactly as a protection mechanism for its holder. “Publications of the data in question are made anonymously, that is, students who take the exam do not have their personal information disclosed, only identification codes are included”, says the prosecutor responsible for the action, Pablo Coutinho Barrett.

THE process under number 1027450-46.2022.4.01.3400, at the 8th Civil Federal Court of the Judiciary Section of the Federal District.

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