Late in June 2017, the Swiss Federal Council approved the draft bill for a federal act on the processing of personal data by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). The proposed piece of legislation fulfils the requirements of the Federal Act of 19 June 1992 on Data Protection (FADP) with due regard to the most recent developments in internal organisation, technology, and society. The consultation procedure with the various stakeholders has started and should end on 20 October 2017.
In its decision of 9 December 2011, the Federal Council instructed the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) to draft an amendment to the Federal Act of 24 March 2000 on the processing of personal data within the FDFA, which would also extend to Swiss citizens abroad and the processing of their personal data required by the FDFA to provide assistance abroad (consular services, consular protection, etc.). In the course of deliberations leading up to and following the mentioned decision of the Federal Council it became apparent that the law would have to be completely recast to ensure that the FDFA is able process the data needed to perform all its tasks.
Therefore, the draft federal bill is a complete revision of the existing legislation and fulfils the mandate set out by the Swiss Federal Council. It does not aim to change the activities carried out by the FDFA. Its goal is rather to produce a modern legislative tool to address the recent developments, particularly in terms of technology, and to facilitate any legislative adjustments that may subsequently become necessary.