Swedish authorities pass on personal data of web visitors to Google: media

2021-02-25 12:35:22 GMT2021-02-25 20:35:22(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

STOCKHOLM, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- A number of government agencies in Sweden pass on personal data belonging to individuals who visit their websites to Google despite guaranteeing anonymity, local media reported on Thursday.

More than 80 government agencies and over 150 authorities pass on personal data in the form of IP addresses belonging to those using their websites without informing them, according to Radio Sweden News.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that IP addresses can be used to identify individuals, according to the report.

The information is then stored on servers in the United States, making the issue more sensitive as personal data protection is not as strong as within the European Union.

One of the government agencies promising anonymity to website visitors is Statistics Sweden, which had more than 10 million visits last year, yet IP addresses have been forwarded to Google for more than two years.

"Of course it's not good if what is communicated on our website is incorrect," said the agency's Communications Director Cecilia Weststrom.

Since the report by Radio Sweden News, Statistics Sweden and the Swedish Prosecution Authority have reported themselves to the Authority for Privacy Protection while other agencies and authorities have removed Google Analytics from their websites. Enditem