The Swedish Police Authority forcibly photographed a person’s motorcycle vest and driving licence with no legal grounds for doing so, thereby violating his right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention

A man was stopped by the police when he was on his way to a party for motorcyclists. The police checked the man and his car. In connection with this, he had to hand over his motorcycle vest and his driving licence, which was then photographed by the police. The photograph was taken in order to document the fact that the man was at the scene and how he was dressed at the time.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman is of the opinion that the photograph should be considered as having been taken forcibly. According to the Parliamentary Ombudsman, the measure interfered with the protection of privacy guaranteed by Section 8 of the European Convention. To be permitted, taking the photos therefore required legal grounds.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman established that there were no legal grounds for forcibly photographing the man’s motorcycle vest and driving licence. The Swedish Police Authority is criticised for taking the action anyway, and for failing to document it in an acceptable manner.

Date of decision: 2022-06-23