Comparative Privacy and Defamation
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Comparative Privacy and Defamation

Edited by András Koltay and Paul Wragg

Providing comparative analysis that examines both Western and non-Western legal systems, this wide-ranging Handbook expands and enriches the existing privacy and defamation law literature and addresses the fundamental issues facing today’s scholars and practitioners. Comparative Privacy and Defamation provides insightful commentary on issues of theory and doctrine, including the challenges of General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the impact of new technologies on the law.
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Chapter 7: What is it the public has a right to know? The right to privacy for public officials and the right of access to official documents – European and Swedish perspectives

Jane Reichel


When a person acts as an official in the public domain, the person is generally viewed differently than a person acting in the private domain. An official does not act in a private capacity, but as a spokesperson or a tool for the public organ. How does the official as a person fit into this picture? The question asked in this chapter is what the public has a right to know in relation to official documents containing personal data of an official. While transparency can shed light on the internal functioning of a public organ, enabling a control that matters are handled correctly, objectively and impartially, public documents may also include private information on public officials. A comparison is made on how the European Convention on Human Rights, EU law and Swedish law balance the right to privacy of officials with the right to access of official documents.

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