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Online family trees in Sweden illegal?

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Online family trees in Sweden may be illegal, according to the Swedish Board of Data Inspection (DI). The DI last week sent a letter to the Federation of Swedish Genealogical Societies, demanding certain data be removed from their web site immediately.

The website contains several forum sections headed 'Crime and punishment' and 'Ethnic groups', which refer to Jewish, Romany and Sami ancestors. The DI says that other than state authorities it is prohibited to exchange information about individuals relating to crime and punishment, even in a closed forum. And if the data being shared refer to the race or ethnic origin of a person in the 18th century, all living descendants in Sweden must give their consent before any information is made public.

Chairman Ted Rosvall told Swedish news site The Local this week "that if the DI decision stands we will only be able to discuss white, aryan ancestors. That's what I call reverse racism."

Concerns over public personal records were raised this week when if was revealed that a 15 year old US boy conceived by an anonymous sperm donation, was able to trace his biological father using nothing more than an Internet DNA registry site and then compare the surname with the few details of his father provided by the fertility clinic. In the US anonymous donors officialy have sealed records and are to remain anonymous forever.®

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