The three main laws are the Personal Data File Act (523/1999), the Act on the Exercise of Freedom of Expression in Mass Media (460/2003) and the Act on the Protection of Privacy in Electronic Communication (516/2004). The first of these laws (harmonised in 1998 to concur with Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council) pertains to the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data. The second law stipulates the responsibility of publishers and producers of public performances and network communications in respect of preventing the publishing of false or insulting information on individual actors. The third law is on public data service providers, to protect the confidentiality of communication and privacy of the users of communication networks. The protection of individual privacy is also stipulated in general terms in the Finnish Constitution.
The implementation of the data protection legislation is organised by the Data Protection Ombudsman and the Data Protection Board. The implications of this legislation and its management for cultural policy can be seen in three areas:
- protection of persons belonging to minority groups;
- direct advertising in culture industries; and
- protection of personal privacy vis-à-vis media exposure and the media’s right of expression.
There are no studies yet on how all this national and EU legislation and their implementation might have started to shape the media, cultural industries and cultural policy implementation.