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Yttrandefrihetsgrundlagarna och personuppgiftssamlingar: En resa förbi Sirenernas ö
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
2017 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Freedom of the Press and Personal Data Protection : Navigating Past the Island of Sirens (English)
Abstract [en]

In the summer of 2014, Swedes woke up to the new reality that is the ease with which information is spread on the internet. Having a long tradition of openness and transparency, a Swedish court’s judgments and reasons, including in criminal procedures, are publicly available. But due to the practical difficulties of having to ask a court for documents, it is a right seldom used by the broader public. Lexbase, a private corporation, changed that by digitalizing court documents and making them available on the internet. A public outcry, lamenting the threat Lexbase posed to peoples’ privacy, followed. The Swedish authorities could not do much, since Lexbase was covered by the constitutionally protected press freedom. This protection exempts the website from the requirements of data protection law. As such, a committee was assembled to draft a derogation from the press freedom laws for services such as Lexbase to subject such websites to data protection requirements. This thesis examines the need for a derogation from the press freedom laws for certain collections of personal data and how such a derogation should be drafted.

The committee published its proposed derogation late 2016. Two reasons are provided for why the press freedom needs to be curtailed for websites that provide searchable collections of personal data. The first is that these websites lack valuable expressions from a freedom of speech perspective while proving a serious threat to privacy. The second is that the current order – where media covered by the press freedom laws are exempt from data protection requirements –  risks falling foul of EU data protection law. However, the committee fails to explain how such websites threaten privacy or why their expressions lack value; and it provides no account for the content and requirements of EU data protection. The committee navigates past the Island of Sirens as did the crew of Odysseus – straight towards the desired outcome, but with its ears plugged with beeswax. Better then to act as Odysseus, identifying risks and benefits that allow for an informed decision. Contrary to the committee’s assumption, the websites in question contain valuable expressions when examined in light of the purpose of Swedish press freedom laws. However, a precise derogation, that allows for courts to balance privacy against freedom of expression, may be necessary for certain collections of personal data.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 72
Keywords [sv]
Yttrandefrihetsgrundlagarna, TF, YGL, yttrandefrihetsteori, persondataskydd, PUL, personuppgiftssamlingar, personlig integritet
National Category
Law (excluding Law and Society)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-321135OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-321135DiVA, id: diva2:1092234
Educational program
Law Programme
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-06-22 Created: 2017-05-02 Last updated: 2017-06-22Bibliographically approved

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