Hiding your own contact detailsIn some situations, a person who fears for his/her own safety may have to hide his/her contact details. A lighter disclosure ban of information can be done in the Population Register System. Everyone has the right to refuse their information from being disclosed from the population register system for direct marketing, marketing and opinion research and for genealogy purposes. In addition, everyone has the right to refuse the disclosure of contact details as a contact, address or other equivalent information service, as well as the disclosure of information for the update of a customer register or other such register. Non-disclosure of personal information (Population Register Centre).
A more severe option is asking for the magistrate to order that the threatened person’s home municipality or address details cannot be disclosed from the population register system to anyone other than authorities. This is called an order of non-disclosure. When considering to apply for an order of non-disclosure it is good to know that the order may also make the person’s own life more difficult as address details will no longer be transmitted to official regulatory records. For example, hospitals and health centres may no longer receive patient address information.
The magistrate requires a written, justified request from the applicant of the order of non-disclosure or at least a visit to the office. The first order of non-disclosure may be valid for up to five years. It can be continued for two years at a time.
An order of non-disclosure is a refusal to disclose information from the population register system, which significantly restricts the disclosure of contact details. Information is not disclosed to private persons or companies, and authorities only have access to the information, if they have a specific reason related to an official task, such as criminal investigations carried out by the police.
It is worth noting however that the bodies that already previously had the person’s contact details do not know to delete the details from their systems, if the person does not notify them. These include, for example, phone operators. Some operators update their customers’ contact information automatically every few months, in which case the contact details of a person with an order of non-disclosure will no longer be transmitted to the service provider.
A person, who has been granted an order of non-disclosure may inform the magistrate of a contact address to be entered in the population register system. The contact address may be, for example, a post office box address, workplace address or other such address, which does not indicate any detailed information about where the person lives. A contact address can be disclosed to all parties that require it, unless the person has informed any non-disclosures to the population register system that also concern the contact address (direct marketing refusal, non-disclosure of contact details, update refusal of customer records, genealogical ban). The contact address can be changed during the period of the order of non-disclosure. When an extension is applied for the order of non-disclosure, the contact address must be re-informed.