Sweden: Data Protection Laws of the World Handbook: Second Edition - Sweden

E-Commerce And Privacy Alert

LAW

Being a member of the European Union, Sweden implemented the EU Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC in 1998 with the Personal Data Act (Sw. personuppgiftslagen, SFS 1998:204, below "the Act"). The previous Swedish Data Act enacted in 1973 had by then already been considered to be outdated for many years.

DEFINITION OF PERSONAL DATA

Personal data means all kinds of information that is directly or indirectly referable to a natural living person.

DEFINITION OF SENSITIVE PERSONAL DATA

Sensitive personal data means personal data that discloses race or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical convictions and membership of trade unions. Personal data relating to health or sexual life is also embraced by the term.

NATIONAL DATA PROTECTION AUTHORITY

The Data Inspection board (Sw. Datainspektionen, below "DIB") is the supervisory authority under the Act.

REGISTRATION

All controllers except those whose processing falls under any of the exemptions in the Act, need to file notifications with the DIB.

Notification is not required if:

  • the controller has appointed a personal data representative (a data protection officer or "Privacy Officer") and notified the DPA about this, or
  • the processing would probably not result in an improper intrusion of personal integrity, if specified in rules issued by either the Government or the DIB (for instance processing of personal data in running text, processing takes place with the individuals consent, or the data relates to a registered person who has a link to the controller such as members, employees, customers).

DATA PROTECTION OFFICERS

There is no requirement in Sweden for organisations to appoint a data protection officer. It is a voluntary arrangement. However, if a data protection officer has been appointed and notified to the DIB, the general notification obligation does not apply. Instead, the officer has to maintain a register of the processing that the data controller implements and which would have been subject to the notification duty if the data protection officer had not existed.

COLLECTION AND PROCESSING

Data controllers may collect and process personal data when any of the following conditions are met:

  • the data subject consents;
  • there is statutory authority for the processing;
  • the processing is necessary to fulfil a contract to which the data subject is party, or to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into such a contract;
  • the processing is necessary to enable the controller to fulfil a legal obligation;
  • the processing is necessary to protect the vital interests of the data subject;
  • the processing is necessary to perform a task in the public interest;
  • the processing is necessary to exercise official authority; or
  • to satisfy a purpose that concerns a justified interest on the part of the controller or on the part of a third party to whom the personal data is disclosed, provided that this interest outweighs the registered person's interest in protection against violation of personal integrity.

In relation to processing of sensitive personal data, additional requirements apply apart from what has been mentioned above.

Whichever of the above conditions is relied upon, the controller must first provide the data subject with certain information, unless an exemption applies. The notification shall include information on the identity of the controller, the purposes of the processing, whether the data will be disclosed and/or transferred and to who/where, the fact that the provision of data is voluntary and any other circumstances that will enable the data subject to exercise his/her rights pursuant to the Act.

TRANSFER

In principle, it is forbidden to transfer personal data that is being processed to a country outside the EU/EEA that does not have an adequate level of protection for personal data.

Even if the third country in question does not have an adequate level of protection, it is allowed to transfer personal data to such country if the registered person has given his/her consent to the transfer or when the transfer is necessary in order that:

  • a contract between the registered person and the controller may be performed or measures that the registered person requested may be taken before a contract is made;
  • a contract between the controller and a third party that is in the interests of the registered person may be made or performed;
  • legal claims should be established, exercised or defended; or
  • vital interests of the registered person may be protected.

It is also permitted to transfer personal data for use solely in a state that has acceded to the Council of Europe Convention of 28 January 1981 on the protection of individuals in automatic data processing.

Transfer of personal data to third countries is allowed if the countries provide "adequate protection" for the security of the data, or if the transfer is covered by standard contractual clauses approved by the European Commission, or subject to an organisation's Binding Corporate Rules.

For transfer of data to the United States, compliance with the US/EU Safe Harbor principles satisfies the requirements of Sweden's transfer law.

SECURITY

The data controller is liable to implement technical and organisational measures to protect the personal data. The measures shall attain a suitable level of security. When the controller engages a data assistant to conduct the processing of personal data (data processor), there shall be a written contract that specifically regulates the security aspects. The controller shall also be responsible to ensure that the assistant actually implements the necessary security measures.

It is the controller who is responsible in relation to the registered person as regards the processing, even if an assistant/processor has been engaged or if someone who works for the controller has wrongfully disclosed personal data.

The DIB may issue decisions on security measures in individual cases.

BREACH NOTIFICATION

There is no mandatory requirement in the Act to report data security breaches or losses to the DIB. Data security breaches are handled on a case-by-case basis and addressed by the DIB only if they for instance relate to a large number of data subjects or indicate a general non-compliance issue. There is no DIB guidance on the subject matter.

However, pursuant to the implementation of the ePrivacy Directive as amended, regarding security breach notification obligations, chapter 6 of the Swedish Electronic Communications Act (Sw. lag om elektronisk kommunikation, SFS 2003:389) as of July 2011 provides that a provider of publicly available electronic communications services shall without undue delay notify the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (Sw. Post och Telestyrelsen) regarding privacy incidents. Where the incident is likely to adversely affect subscribers or user of whom the processed data concerns, or where the Post and Telecom Authority requests it, the provider shall also notify subscribers without undue delay. Incidents that only have a marginal effect on subscribers and users do not have to be notified to the authority. Moreover, notification is not required where the service provider has implemented appropriate security measures which renders the data unreadable to unauthorised persons.

ENFORCEMENT

The DIB has, in its capacity as the supervisory authority, the right of access to the personal data processed and information about and the documentation of processing, and is also empowered to enter premises connected with the processing.

Appeal may be made against a decision by the DIB to a general administrative court; i.e. in the first instance the County Administrative Court. The DIB may decide that a decision should apply even if it is appealed against.

A person who has intentionally or by gross negligence disclosed untrue data under the Act, who in contravention of the regulations processes sensitive personal data or data concerning offences, etc., or transfers personal data to a third country or neglects to give notice concerning the processing to the supervisory authority may be sentenced to a fine or imprisonment of at most six months. If the offence is grave, the penalty may be imprisonment up to two years. A sentence shall not be imposed in petty cases.

Furthermore, the controller may also be liable to pay compensation to a registered person for damage and violation of personal integrity caused by the processing of personal data in contravention of the Act.

ELECTRONIC MARKETING

The Act applies to most electronic marketing activities, given that it is likely that such marketing involves processing of personal data (e.g. an e-mail address is likely regarded as personal data under the Act). Please note that if the data subject's e-mail address has not been obtained in the context of a customer relationship or similar, the data subject's consent is, as a main rule, required for electronic marketing. Moreover, a data subject has a right to at any time oppose ("opt-out" of) further processing of his or her personal data for marketing purposes.

ONLINE PRIVACY (INCLUDING COOKIES AND LOCATION DATA)

Pursuant to the Swedish Electronic Communications Act (as amended by e-Privacy Directive 2009/12/EC), a cookie may be stored on a user's terminal equipment, only if the user has been given access to information on the purpose of the processing and given his or her consent, i.e. the user must give his/her prior "opt-in" consent before a cookie is placed on the user's computer. The government stated in the preparatory works to the Swedish Electronic Communications Act that the implementation of the new e-Privacy Directive should not be regarded as a material change. This has been construed by some that implied consent through browser settings shall be regarded as a valid consent under the Act, provided that sufficient information is given to the user e.g. in a cookie policy. This is, however, unclear and the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority has not issued any guidance in this regard.

Consent is, however, not required for cookies that are;

  • used for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of communication over an electronic communications network; or
  • necessary for the provision of a service explicitly requested by the user.

Wilful or negligent breach of the Swedish Electronic Communications Act in this regard is sanctioned with fines, provided that the offense is not sanctioned by the Swedish Criminal Code (Sw. brottsbalken). However, if the breach is deemed to be minor, no sanction shall be imposed. To our knowledge there has been no case where a website operator has been fined for breach of the Swedish Electronic Communications Act.

© DLA Piper

This publication is intended as a general overview and discussion of the subjects dealt with. It is not intended to be, and should not used as, a substitute for taking legal advice in any specific situation. DLA Piper Australia will accept no responsibility for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of this publication.


DLA Piper Australia is part of DLA Piper, a global law firm, operating through various separate and distinct legal entities. For further information, please refer to www.dlapiper.com

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions