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What you may not disclose

The Act on Processing of Personal Data protects people’s right to a private life and contains rules that all uses of personal data must abide by.

Private data may only be disclosed if the person gives consent
We all have information that is no-one else’s business. This includes information about our private affairs, e.g. how much debt you have, if you have a certain disease, or if you have received a fine.

People have a right to keep such information to themselves.

The Act on Processing of Personal Data protects this type of information. This means that you may not simply disclose private and sensitive information about others without following the rules of the law.

Normally, you may only disclose such information if you have received clear consent from the person the information regards.

Consent is when the person has personally said yes to disclosure of the information. It must be clear and distinct what is being consented to. And it must be voluntary. You may not use coercion to secure consent.

Without consent you may only disclose information that is entirely harmless. For example, read about situation photos in the text: What you may disclose.

Portrait photos
You may not disclose a portrait photo of another person without first securing that person’s consent. The same is true if the portrait photo is of two people, or a group portrait of all the students in a class.

Portrait photos are understood as photos where the purpose is to depict one or more specific people. For example, photos of the individual students in a school class. The class photo with all students is also a portrait photo.

In the worst case, you risk imprisonment
If what you write is very offensive, you may violate criminal law. The same is true if you disclose nude photos of another person. In such case, you risk punishment as stipulated by criminal law.

The Danish Data Protection Agency cannot consider whether the provisions of criminal law have been violated. For such consideration, you must contact the police.

Private data

“Private data” is understood as information that one normally expects will be kept out of the public sphere. This includes information about individuals’ financial standing and civil registration number.
Some of our private data is especially “sensitive”. This includes information about sexual relationships, political convictions, health and criminal matters.

Fact box

A man was sentenced to prison for posting illegal material on his Facebook profile.
A man had posted video images of intercourse with his ex-girlfriend. The video, which was recorded with a mobile phone, was on Facebook for three months after the end of the relationship. One of the woman’s friends discovered the sex video on the man’s profile. The woman contacted the police immediately.
The man was sentenced to 20 days in jail and had to pay a fine of DKK 10,000 in compensation to the ex-girlfriend