Non-disclosure for personal safety reasons

If a person has a justified reason to believe that their personal safety or that of a family member is in jeopardy, the local register office may, upon request, order that information relating to the person’s municipality of residence or address may not released from the Population Information System to parties other than public authorities. To issue such an order, the local register office will require a justified written request or at least a personal visit to the office. The Local Register Office clarifies to the applicant the direct effects of Non-disclosure for personal safety reasons. The first non-disclosure restriction may remain in force for a maximum of five years, after which it can be extended for two years at a time. In some specific matters Non-disclosure for personal safety reasons remains in force until now.

When an order of non-disclosure for personal safety reasons has been issued, the person’s address will in many cases not be released to the authorities either. The authorities to whom the person's contact details are disclosed will at the same time be informed of the order of non-disclosure for personal safety reasons. Similar provisions are included in the Act on the Openness of Government Authorities. However, under this act, the duty of non-disclosure only pertains to the authority from whom the person requested the order of non-disclosure.

A person on whom an order of non-disclosure for personal safety reasons has been issued may notify the local register office of a contact address to be registered in the Population Information System. The restrictions set by non-disclosure do not apply to the contact address, which means that parties other than authorities may also be able to establish contact, using the contact address, with the person on whom an order of non-disclosure for safety reasons has been issued. A contact address is not the same concept as the postal address registered in the Population Information System; the latter is subject to the restrictions set by the non-disclosure for personal safety reasons.

A contact address may be a post office box address, the address of an employer or some other similar address that does not provide specific information about the person’s residence. The person who makes the notification is responsible for ensuring that the contact address reported is valid for receiving mail addressed to them.

The contact address may be released to all parties requesting it, unless the person has forbidden the disclosure from the Population Information System of their contact details also applying to the contact address (non-disclosure for direct advertising purposes, non-disclosure of contact details, non-disclosure for customer register update, non-disclosure for genealogical research, and non-disclosure for public registers). The disclosure prohibitions may be submitted simultaneously with the submittal of the contact address. If the person already has disclosure prohibitions in place in the Population Information System, they will automatically apply to the contact address. The prohibitions are valid until further notice, and they may be removed as desired.

A contact address becomes valid once it has been registered in the Population Information System, and it remains in force no later than until the non-disclosure for personal safety reasons ends. The contact address may be changed while the non-disclosure for personal safety reasons is in force. When applying for an extension to the non-disclosure for personal safety reasons, the contact address must be reported again.

The contact address can be registered in the Population Information System after identification using an electronic form at Suomi.fi or by visiting the nearest local register office in person. More information is available from Local Register Offices.