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Police censured for storing personal info

Published fredag 22 april 2016 kl 14.51
Fotomontage: SR Foto: Stefan Gustavsson, Janerik Henriksson / Scanpix
Photo Montage: SR Photo: Stefan Gustavsson, Janerik Henriksson / Scanpix

Swedish police can too easily access the personal information of suspects and may be breaking privacy of information rules.

An inquiry by the Swedish Data Protection Authority (Datainspektionen) found that an internal system in which the police keep information about suspected criminals was especially problematic. Cecilia Agnell, a lawyer for Datainspektionen, told Swedish Radio news that too many police can access the data.

"This is of course an IT system that the police use to spread information within the police organization. When all police officers, no matter where in the country you work or what kind of crimes you work with - have access to all this information in this way, it's definitely not compatible with the polisdatalagen ("police data laws")," said Agnell.

The so-called OBS Portal is used for the internal exchange of information about crimes, surveillance, and other criminal intelligence. The system's openness violates rules that restrict police access to personal information and which stipulate that officers may only have access to information in the service of performing their individual work.

The Data Protection Authority is now requiring eight measures to place restrictions on the internal system. They have until October 18 to fix the problems.

"We have to make changes so that the clearance for accessing data reflects the value of what you'd be entering. So that local information is only reachable inside of the area where it belongs," said Kummel.

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