What is personal data?

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Personal data is any information that can be directly or indirectly related to a living individual. Typical personal data is personal numbers, names and addresses. Photos of people are also categorized as personal data.

An organisation number is personal data if it involves a sole trader. The license plate of a car is personal data if it can be related to a person, while the license plate of a company car that is used by several employees is not personal data.

In certain cases different types of electronic identities, such as an IP number, is also considered personal data if they can be connected to a certain person.

Information about personal data at the Swedish Authority for Privacy Protection (IMY)

Film: What is personal data?

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Sensitive information

In the data protection regulation one distinguishes between regular personal data and sensitive personal data. Sensitive personal data refers to, among other things, information that reveals a person’s ethnic background, political opinions, religious beliefs or sexual orientation. Information involving a person’s health and whether the person belongs to a labor union is also classified as sensitive.

There are higher demands placed on companies that register and process sensitive personal data. The company must be able to show that it has compelling reasons for registering such information and the information must have additional protection so that it cannot be accessed by unauthorised persons.

Information that involves a person being suspected of a crime or having committed a crime is not classified as sensitive according to the law. However, such information may only be registered if the company can demonstrate that it has compelling reasons for doing so, for example if it needs to register the data in order to file a police report of a crime.

Sensitive personal data and information about crime at the Swedish Authority for Privacy Protection

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Responsible: Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth

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