• Sweden edition
 
Sweden to outlaw pics taken by Peeping Toms

Sweden to outlaw pics taken by Peeping Toms

Published: 01 Mar 2012 10:43 GMT+01:00
Updated: 01 Mar 2012 10:43 GMT+01:00

Using camera-equipped smartphones to take compromising pictures of people without their knowledge will be punishable with jail time, according to a proposal from the Swedish government.

The government has long wanted to outlaw the act of secretly taking insulting pictures of people, but previous attempts have been criticized on the grounds that doing so would compromise people's freedom of expression.

"What we're trying to prevent are insulting pictures, that is the taking of pictures or filming in secret that infringe on a specific individual," justice minister Beatrice Ask told Sveriges Radio (SR) on Wednesday.

There have been several cases in which modern-day Peeping Toms have snapped pictures of women in various states of undress while they were in department store fitting rooms, public toilets, or showers.

The proliferation of mobile phones with cameras and internet connections means that it's much easier to take and widely spread compromising pictures of people without their knowledge.

While the women often targeted in such instances have argued their right to privacy has been violated through the secretly snapped pics, the act isn't a crime according to current laws.

According to Ask, the new bill, which was presented on Wednesday, is formulated in a way to ensure that the work of journalists wouldn't be criminalized, for example.

Rather than outlawing "unauthorized" picture taking, the new law would criminalize the taking of "insulting" ('kränkande') pictures.

However, the assessment of what constitutes and "insulting" photograph would be made by a court.

The crime would be punishable by up to two years in prison, according to the new law, which Ask hopes will come into force on July 1st of this year.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

11:27 March 1, 2012 by stevo1
excellent, maybe the law society here could review all the laws and make changes.
11:39 March 1, 2012 by skogsbo
why does she have both parts of the toilet seat up? Most odd.
11:57 March 1, 2012 by robban70226
disturbing... ''compromising pictures'' is quite open to interpretation, guest you better be carefull at somebody drinking wine or a fat person eating a hamburger and ff, it is just opening the door for anybody to want to go after somebody else, the end of just being.. the principle is good but the definition is too open
12:21 March 1, 2012 by philster61
Another ridiculous law with the punishment far outweighing the crime.....
12:24 March 1, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
...and about time too!

I, for one, am fed up with all these people hanging around in public toilets, taking photos!
12:52 March 1, 2012 by karex
robban70226

Just my thought. I don't think there's anything wrong with the concept itself. But it has to be well-written and not leave huge gaping holes for people to interpret (including the police) as they see fit. Laws like this are totally useless, and not worth the paper they're written on.

slevi1

I Agree. They should take the opportunity and review/revise/update all the laws.
12:59 March 1, 2012 by RobinHood
Once the Assange case has gone away, Sweden will conduct a wholesale review of its wierd sexual offences laws. A country with the highest number of "rapes" in the EU, where rape has a definiton completely beyond the correct meaning of the word, where judges are appointed by politicians, and where it is legal to take sexually explicit pictures of someone against their will, clearly needs an urgent review.
13:20 March 1, 2012 by Abe L
Idiotic. Why does this even get attention from people who's salary is payed from tax money. Two years in jail for making pictures of which billions of similar ones can be found online? Either enacted or voluntarily?

Increase punishment for REAL crimes, such as theft of physical items, break ins, burglary, robbery, assault, rape and murder. Start working on those problems, put people who make themselves guilty of those crimes away for decades or life and start using the police force for catching them and locking them. Instead of just having them write out speeding tickets.

We're getting to a world where making pictures of people without their knowledge of downloading some music of the internet is becoming a more serious crime according to law makers and other nutjobs then things that actually harm a country's citizens.
13:28 March 1, 2012 by HYBRED
"However, the assessment of what constitutes and "insulting" photograph would be made by a court."

I think I can determine when I have been insulted. Leaving that to a judge is insulting.
13:45 March 1, 2012 by BillyB
good they are finally doing something on this..

So, the woman who started the blog about "Macho on Public Transport"

these pictures are taking without the knowledge or consent of the people photographed, and I find it insulting so presumably she will be locked up soon????
13:49 March 1, 2012 by BritVik
Irrespective of what you can find on the Internet, if it were YOU whose picture was published with all you privates on view, how would you like it?

Those who act rather like an even more underhand paparazzi with their cameras should be taken to account.
14:13 March 1, 2012 by Frobobbles
You can't have a law like this. It will never work. If I take a photo of someone, and it turns out good it is flattering, but if the light is bad the person will be at a disadvantage and I could go to jail for the insult! What then, if people have different taste?
15:09 March 1, 2012 by prince T
the people taking compromising pictures know exactly what they are doing. Police will not be required if i catch you taking my foto whether good or bad, without permission..
16:25 March 1, 2012 by Hauhr
If you ever want a law that sounds good but is actually quite ill-conceived... just Ask!
16:39 March 1, 2012 by RobinHood
Most countries have a law forbidding people from taking sexually explicit pictures of other people without their permission. Normal people eveywhere, (and even judges) have no problem differentiating between what is "insulting" or sexually explicit, and what is not. The proposed law is not at all aimed at the practise of taking non- insulting or non-sexually explicit pictures of other people without their permisson.

It seems safe to assume that several posters here have extremely unhealthy habits when it comes to photography.
20:57 March 1, 2012 by spo10
what if the person on the picture didn't find it insulting yet the judge do? so the photographer gets 2 year imprisonment anyway? this is short-sighted...
21:39 March 1, 2012 by wxman
Once all restrooms are designated "unisex", this will no longer be necessary!
09:55 March 2, 2012 by BackpackerKev
I really wish the government would change one of the other billion things wrong with Sweden than try and change something that is just totally dumb. The fact that what constitutes and "insulting" photograph would be made by a court. is just pathetic considering those same courts have not an ounce of balls or common sense when it comes to sentencing much harsher crimes

Its like Sweden actively tries to avoid adopting laws that work in many other counties making up their own while holding a crayon and listing to tellytubbies.

I'm all against dictatorship in many countries, but i honestly think someone needs to dictate to Sweden government how to bring Sweden into the 21st century and make choices that are smart. Its sometimes laughable what goes on in this country.
Today's headlines
Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off TV
Grossed out Ica woman at Easter dinner. Screengrab from Ica

Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off TV

A Swedish supermarket has decided to withdraw its Easter commercial, after Christians complained it made a mockery of communion - "They crossed the line." Sweden's advertising watchdog will now look into the case. READ () »

Dismemberment killer gets sentence cut
The search and rescue operation in northern Sweden. File photo: TT

Dismemberment killer gets sentence cut

The 22-year-old man convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend in northern Sweden had his sentence reduced on Wednesday, in part due to his "peculiar personality". READ () »

School gas leak sends 25 to hospital

School gas leak sends 25 to hospital

An elementary school in southern Sweden was evacuated on Wednesday and dozens of pupils were taken to hospital after the smell of gas spread through the rooms. READ () »

Swedes vote for country's nicest cock
The Flymen Church weathercock in all its newly gilded glory. Photo: TT

Swedes vote for country's nicest cock

A Swedish churchwarden has reacted with joy upon finding out the parish has Sweden's nicest weathercock. READ () »

Greens push rich tax to finance schools
Per Bolund of The Greens. File photo: TT

Greens push rich tax to finance schools

Sweden's third largest party The Greens revealed its shadow budget on Wednesday, targeting schools and youth employment. High earners would have to pitch in more. READ () »

Holiday status updates 'not a burglary risk'
Ibiza, you say? File photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Holiday status updates 'not a burglary risk'

Mythbusting Swedish researchers have found no link between gushing about your upcoming holiday online and returning to an emptied house. They told The Local that a trip to Ikea could be much more dangerous. READ () »

Woman charged after accusing beggar of theft
The people in this picture are not those from the story. Photo: TT

Woman charged after accusing beggar of theft

A woman in Gothenburg who accused a beggar of robbing her has been charged with fraud and false accusations. READ () »

Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
Photo: Kungahuset

Swedish royals set baptism date for princess

Sweden's royal family has set the date for the baptism of Princess Leonore. READ () »

The Local List
Evidence Game of Thrones is set in Sweden

Evidence Game of Thrones is set in Sweden

With Swedish Game of Thrones fans frothing at the mouth at the season four premiere, The Local revisits its list of ten reasons why the hit books and show are (probably) based in Sweden. READ () »

'Baffling' Swedish raid on German sub makers
The Kockums Malmö shipyard and FMV headquarters. Files: TT

'Baffling' Swedish raid on German sub makers

After the Swedish military raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp, a military expert tells The Local why recent Russian aggression means Sweden's Saab needs to take control of national submarine production. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
Advertisement:
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
Society
'Blondes have more brains': Swedish study
TT
Society
VIDEO: Leaked 'Save Slussen' film goes viral
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching, March 28-30
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

745
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com