A couple in Sweden sent an official inquiry to the Swedish Data Protection Authority asking for permission to point their naked bottoms at a neighbour's security camera.
The unusual request came as part of their complaint against the neighbour, who they claimed had positioned the camera so that it looked over their garden, into their conservatory, and in through a bedroom window.
Nils Henckel, a lawyer for the authority, said that he and his team of seven investigators had so far been unable to visit the house in Lund to adjudicate on the case.
The case is one of thirty inquiries sent to the authority since it took over responsibility for security camera cases from the police in May last year.
“We hope that the duties can be returned to the police,” he told the Sydsvenksan newspaper. “Legislators moved the duties over to the Data Protection Authority, which has extremely limited resources.”
He admitted that the authority had not in fact been so far able to investigate any of the cases reported to it by private citizens, meaning those who want to monitor their neighbours are effectively free to do so.
“To investigate cases involving private citizens you need to be able to travel out in the field, and we unfortunately don't have the resources for that,” he said. “At the authority, we are recommending a legislative solution where it will be criminal to carry out surveillance over someone else's domain.”
Joakim Nyberg, a municipal police officer in Lund, said that if the police had had jurisdiction, they would judge the hypothetical mooning and the illegal surveillance as two separate offences, which would be investigated independently.