Segerstedt-Wiberg and Others v. Sweden

European Court of Human Rights
6 June 2006


The applicants suspected that information on them had been entered in the Security Police records several decades ago because of their political views, as they were related to liberal and communist parties. Applicants initiated proceedings in domestic courts and complained about the continued storage of their data, however, their complaints were dismissed.


The applicants complained that the storage of information on them in the Security Police’s database violated their right to private life.

Court's ruling

The Court ruled that the continued storage of the information was necessary and proportionate with respect to the first applicant who had come under a bomb threat in 1990 but not to the other applicants. Accordingly, the right to private life of the applicants, except for the first applicant, had been violated.

The Court found that:

  • The storage of applicants’ data was prescribed by law.
  • The storage of the first applicants’ information pursued a legitimate aim, namely, the prevention of disorder or crime, while the storage of the other applicants’ data corresponded to the protection of national security.
  • The reasons for keeping on record the information that related to bomb threats against the first applicant in 1990 were relevant and sufficient, as regards the aim of preventing disorder or crime.

As to the other applicants, the continued storage of information concerning their actions 30-40 years ago was not supported by reasons which were relevant and sufficient for the protection of national security, given the age of that information. Besides, their participation in a political party with a rather radical program could not be a reason to collect and store information on them.

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Last updated 09/06/2024