Sunday, August 07, 2022

We are making this statement to stop any rumours that are spreading about our data security and to assure all Hey Portugal users that we (Mint Lda, t/a Hey Portugal) have never sold or shared our user database.

We have always treated our user’s personal data with the greatest of care and security. We have a strict Privacy Policy which states that we do not share users data with any organisation outside Mint Lda and we are very proud of this fact. Despite having been approached by companies to buy our database we have never sold or shared it. We always check that any companies working for us understand this policy and that their own data security policies comply with it. HeyPortugal 538x200

It was brought to our attention in 2011 that some of our users had received emails from a 3rd party expat organisation without their permission and against EU Data Protection and Privacy laws. According to the information we received, the emails came from We Talk (t/a Portugal Friends) who was run by Leaping Ahead, who worked for Mint Lda (t/a Hey Portugal) until 2011, designing and hosting our original website

This information was of great concern to us, so with assistance from our legal team we immediately investigated the situation. We were shocked and appalled by the results of this investigation.

Based on evidence and statements which we have received, we made a formal complaint to the Public Prosecutor who took over the complaint and started legal proceedings under the EU Data Protection Act.

This is all we could say about this matter until the Public Prosecutor had carried out his enquiries. Unfortunately we were subjected to the slowness of the Portuguese judicial system. The Public Prosecutors department intervened and took statements from ourselves and many of our readers. Only then did they decide to make a formal charge and arrange to interview the owners of Leaping Ahead. It is not surprising that when the police requested interviews the people in question had coincidentally left the country and gone to Luxembourg.  

We were unable to comment on this until the legal process took its course and now the official prosecution file has been archived but not closed.

I doubt it will ever be made live again, but I wanted to take this opportunity, now that I can talk about it, to assure all our readers that we did not share our database and it was used without our persmission by someone we trusted and who had a legitimate back-up copy as our web hosting company. It was a blatant missus of trust and against EU Data Protection Laws.

I now host the website myself and keep my own back-ups.