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Swedish Court Says IP Numbers Privacy Protected 108

oh2 writes "The highest applicable Swedish court, Regeringsrätten, has ruled that IP numbers are protected (in Swedish) since they can be traced to individuals. This means that only government agencies are allowed to track and store IP addresses, leaving 'anti-piracy' advocates with no legal way to find possible copyright infringers." Update: 06/18 14:42 GMT by KD : The original linked article had been pulled due to factual errors and a new article has been posted (link replaced above). Here is a Google translation. The new article makes clear that the ruling does not affect the anti-piracy efforts of rights-holders.
Update: 06/18 15:08 GMT by KD : Behind the link below is a summary in English of the article sent in by the submitter, oh2.

This autumn Datainspektionen will start monitoring how the IPRED law is applied when it comes to disclosure of personal information. A recent verdict in the Regeringsrätten, Sweden's highest applicable court, has upheld Datainspektionens decision that IP addresses are to be considered personal information and therefore protected under law.

In 2005 Datainspektionen ruled that collecting and storing personal information online like copyright advocates were doing was a breach of the Swedish PUL, Personal information act, that regulates how and what kind of information that can be traced to a single individual that can be stored. The anti-piracy organizations were quickly granted an exemption though, that expired March 31st. Starting April 1st this year IPRED allows holders of copyright to apply to the courts for this information.

Datainspektionen will now monitor closely how any personal information acquired from the courts in this manner is used by copyright holders.
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Swedish Court Says IP Numbers Privacy Protected

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  • by bjourne ( 1034822 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @08:55AM (#28372561) Homepage Journal
    This decision doesn't only affect anti-piracy hunters. Virtually all web companies track user ip addresses for various purposes.
  • Privacy in Sweden (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Biotech9 ( 704202 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:14AM (#28372791) Homepage

    Sweden has some strange privacy norms. Asking what someone votes for politically is close to a serious faux pa. In fact some people I know have absolutely no idea how their parents or even partners vote. That is a very private thing. But you can look up car owners on a free and public website by registration number, you can go and check tax returns for anyone in Sweden, and see what they earn. On the other hand, religion is another area that you very much leave alone and don't ask about.

    Hopefully the IP information will be considered something a little more private, and after the Pirate party did so well in the European elections maybe there is a chance that common sense will prevail and rules like IPRED will be struck down anyway.

  • Re:Privacy in Sweden (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mikael_j ( 106439 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:25AM (#28372931)

    This is thanks to something called "offentlighetsprincipen" which is basically the idea that anything related to the government (taxes, car registration, legislation, police records and so on) should be available to the public. One of the main criticism of the EU that tends to be get brought up in Sweden is actually that the EU doesn't work the same way, that there are a lot of things that are withheld from the public in the EU (or at least kept out of reach by bureaucracy and pointless paperwork).

    Personally I rather like our system, if its not explicitly classified as secret then anyone can access it.


  • by buddyglass ( 925859 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:32AM (#28372997)

    So if I'm running an online forum or game of some sort, I can't drop IP-bans on offensive parties since that would constitute tracking an IP address?

    I'm pretty much of the opinion that if you visit my website then you're volunteering your IP address. It's just like if you mailed me a letter or sent me an email. In either case you're supplying a return address.

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