JO criticism of the municipality that surreptitiously filmed grant recipients

Published 31 May 2023 at 09:22

– The investigation methods are contrary to the constitutional protection of personal integrity and the right to privacy. It is very remarkable that no real considerations were made about the legal conditions before the methods began to be used, says JO Per Lennerbrant in a statement.

In the spring of 2020, the municipal board made a decision to intensify the work against cheating and fraud in the municipal welfare systems. A security investigator was recruited to assist the municipality’s committees with qualified investigative work. The security investigator was hired, among other things, to observe individuals and in some cases their relatives in investigations of suspected incorrect payments of financial aid.

JO has been able to ascertain in the review that the life pattern of the observed persons has been documented in a detailed manner. In several cases, the observations took place over a longer period of time and took place in secret. According to JO, this cannot be understood as anything other than what can normally be referred to as intelligence methods, which are in principle reserved for the criminal investigation authorities.

JO’s overall assessment is that the investigative methods and their documentation have involved monitoring and mapping of individuals’ personal circumstances and have involved such a significant intrusion into personal integrity that, according to the form of government, requires legal support. The measures taken have also violated the protection of privacy guaranteed by Article 8 of the European Convention. Considering the way in which the data has been collected, no legal support has been found.

– I am aware of the burden that incorrect payments from the welfare systems place on society and that the municipalities have a responsibility to counteract this. However, this must not result in the constitutional protection of the individual’s integrity and the right to privacy not being respected, says Per Lennerbrant.

Source: Fria Tider by

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