Finland considers changes to Data Protection Act

finnish flagsIn order to keep Finland’s corporate secrets in the hands of Finnish corporations, the government recently approved amendments to the Data Protection Act. The changes are designed to prevent the escape of corporate secrets from Finland, according to reports by the Finish News Agency, STT.

Although the proposal was approved by the government, it must next be passed by Parliament. The changes would make it legal in certain situations for companies to examine emails sent by employees and the addresses to which they were sent. If passed, the changes could go into effect early next year.

The bill was prepared by Suvi Linden, Finland’s minister of communications. Linden feels that the measure is somewhat extreme but that it is necessary to protect local businesses from crucial losses.

Approximately 100 companies in Finland are expected to take advantage of the powers extended by the amended legislation if it is passed by Parliament.

Finland’s Data Protection Act came into effect in 1999. The Act entitles individuals to access and correct personal data held by both public and private organizations. Data protection is overseen and enforcement is carried out by the Data Protection Ombudsman.

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