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Swedish nobility threatened by data law

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Swedish nobility threatened by data law
07:58 CEST+02:00
Sweden's House of Nobility (Riddarhuset), which keeps lists of the country's aristocracy, is concerned that it will no longer be able to track its members after losing the legal entitlement to information from the National Registration.

"The Data Inspectorate's licence is no longer valid," said Erik Tersmeden, deputy chairman of the House of Nobility to the Svenska Dagbladet daily.

For privacy reasons, the use of family and personal data is strictly regulated by law and there is no mention of the House of Nobility among those authorized to request information.

"Hereditary succession from father to male children is based on ancient royal decisions. If we lose the data we wont know who is in the family or not," said Tersmeden.

The House of Nobility argued that the information is important, not only to keep track of Swedish "blue-bloods", but also to ensure that nobility grants paid out each year reach legitimate recipients.

Various foundations pay out some 40 million kronor ($600,000) per annum in income support to members of families belonging to The House of Nobility.

The House of Nobility consists of the so-called "introduced nobility" and the data is mainly used to ensure the protection of this list of noble families.

The organization was founded in 1866 after the constitutional reform of that year which stripped the nobility of its right to political representation. The King however retained the right to appoint new nobility until the 1974 constitutional reform which established Sweden's current system of governance.

Since 2003 the House of Nobility has held no official status and is a fully private body.

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