it and privacy

Will Sweden's Internet Providers Have to Store User Data?

Swedish parliament will soon consider requiring the country's internet service providers to store their users' data, reports Swedish Radio news.

The issue of data retention has come up over and over again here. The Court of Justice of the European Union has punished Sweden for not yet instituting the regulations, even as the nation's former justice minister Thomas Bodström worked towards them in the EU.

Nils Weidstam works with the issue of data storage. He told Swedish Radio news that requiring ISPs to retain user information could lead to problems. Because the ISPs would have to pay for the data storage themselves, he sees an increased risk for data leaks from smaller providers.

He warned that private information, like what kind of activity a person carries out on the Internet – including which addresses they have visited, are susceptible to being leaked.

"It's not just an integrity issue. It also has to do with big costs for ISPs," says Weidstam.

On the other hand, police and prosecutors reportedly often have trouble investigating crimes when ISPs have not saved information about their customers' activities.

But after Sweden was punished by the EU for not having such a directive in effect – the issue has come to the fore once again. On Thursday, the government said it would raise the question in December.