Anti-piracy group broke Swedish data laws

July 2005

Record Labels

Sweden’s anti-piracy group, AntipiratbyrĂ„n (APB), broke the personal data act in its hunt for illegal file-sharers, the country’s Data Inspection Board has ruled. At the beginning of March, a large number of Swedish citizens reported the film and games industry-backed non-governmental organisation for its method of tracking the downloading of copyright-protected files. APB used new software to record the IP-addresses of file sharers, as well as the alias, the file name and the server through which the connection was made. The Data Inspection Board ruled that if an IP address can be linked to an individual it is classed as personal information and therefore falls under the Personal Data Act and is protected. As a private company the APB has no right to use the information and indeed could be classed as a criminal offence (although it could be held to be a minor infringement). APB have now stopped collecting the data, passing on details of suspected file swappers to the police although APB are entitled to apply for an exemption from the Personal Data Act.


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