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Sweden: New Social Media Guidelines Published

(Sept. 13, 2010) On September 7, 2010, the Data Inspection Board (Datainspektionen, DIB) of Sweden published a new, four-page set of social media guidelines, entitled PERSONAL INFORMATION IN SOCIAL MEDIA. (Marcus Hoy, Swedish Data Protection Authority Issues New Social Media Guidelines, 174 PRIVACY LAW WATCH (Sept. 10, 2010), Bureau of National Affairs online subscription database,
; DIB, PERSONUPPGIFTER I SOCIALA MEDIER [in Swedish], http://www.datainspekt
(last visited Sept. 10, 2010).)

The guidelines address how organizations that publish blogs and use online social networks should handle personal data, by clarifying the country's Personal Data Act requirements on the subject. (Hoy, supra; Press Release, DIB, Ny vägledning för myndigheter och företag som vill ut på Facebook [in Swedish] [DIB announcement of the guidelines] (Sept. 7, 2010), http://www.d
; Personal Data Act (1998:204) (issued Apr. 29, 1998) [in English translation], Government Offices of Sweden website,

The guidelines state that “government agencies, businesses, and other organizations are required to adopt clear rules and internal processes with regard to the handling of personal information published online” and “are ultimately responsible for any information that is published, including information posted by third parties… .” Furthermore, “[o]rganizations must regularly monitor web sites where user comments are invited, … and ensure that procedures are in place to rapidly remove personal or offensive data.” In addition, they must “have a clear definition of the goals they intend to achieve through the use of social media, and what restrictions should be imposed on how it can be used by others.” (Hoy, supra.)

On July 5, 2010, the DIB had issued a warning to organizations indicating their responsibility for third-party postings, which could make them subject to sanctions under the Personal Data Act and to potential criminal liability were they found to have violated the Criminal Code's provisions on data protection. That DIB statement followed the release a few days earlier of three DIB investigative reports on social media use in the private and public sectors. (Id.; Wendy Zeldin, Sweden: Data Inspection Board Statement on Social Media Sites, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR (July 29, 2010), //