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In Sweden, there are many services available that collect publicly available personal information (such as telephone numbers, addresses, social security numbers, income, mortgages, registered cars) and sells those aggregations (or gives them away for ad-revenue).

Since the government provides this information, they probably argue that they are allowed to handle this data. Is that correct?

Can I request this information to be removed?

Does not, in fact, the GDPR require those companies to check with each person living in Sweden whether they allow this data aggregation?

These are privately owned entities, not government agencies.

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No, you have generally no absolute right to request this data to be removed in Sweden.

I assume you refer to services like Hitta.se and Merinfo.se. They are to some extent exempted from GDPR in Sweden under the Law on Freedom of Expression, which overrules GDPR (see Article 85 GDPR). These services are granted a certain license to distribute information, called a "Utgivningsbevis" (see Wikipedia, in Swedish).

It should be noted that this issue is debated in Sweden, especially following the entry into force of GDPR. See for instance this student paper in Swedish.

However, my understanding is that you may contact them to correct incorrect information. Also, although the sites are partly exempted from GDPR, their named publisher is personally liable for certain criminal activities on the site, such as certain hate crime, defamation and insult (see further on the license granting authority's web page (in Swedish)).

  • This is what I suspected, though, as you say, I think it is highly debatable whether these sites should be protected in this way. They do not have any journalistic value or aspirations what so ever and only exist to make money off of free public information. If I, as a private citizen, don't want everyone to so readily be able to access this information without any traceability what so ever then I'm SOL. Though it should be noted that all sites I contacted are able to remove your information upon request, they all claim they do not need to do that. – The Science Boy Jul 5 '18 at 12:17
  • @TheScienceBoy - interesting that they are willing to delete. It will however not stop new sites from disclosing the same data. It seems that these kind of services are popping up everywhere. Maybe it could be worth digging closer to the source - e.g. I guess telephone numbers are shared by the telephone network operators and car ownership information is shared by another authority. – writeren Jul 6 '18 at 6:55
  • Reading the wiki-page provided, you can even see that "Datainspektionen", one of Swedens government agencies in charge of privacy concerns, criticizes the use of YGL (licenses for publishing) since it does circumvent the very idea of the GDPR. This is probably why the companies are so willing to help out (even though the process is arduous). They know that if anyone in Sweden would bring this to the EU, they (the companies) would lose in court. – The Science Boy Feb 5 at 10:01
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As per GDPR, you have the right to ask them to delete the data, if they aren't Government Bodies. The Privacy Policy should also be read and understood, as per why they cannot delete the data.

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