Availability and findability of FOI and privacy statements on Finnish municipalities’ websites


  • Tuija Kautto
  • Pekka Henttonen



Emneord (Nøkkelord):

e-government, municipalities, FOI, privacy, trust, transparency


FOI and privacy statements are statements in which an organization inform users about the accessibility of the digital and analog information in its custody and the privacy policy it has adopted. This study examined whether Finnish municipalities have posted FOI and privacy statements on their websites.

At the first phase 309 municipal websites were examined to see whether the statements were located on the front page or if there were direct links to them at the front page. If the website did not have FOI or privacy statement or a link to statements at the front page, then it was studied whether the statements could be found easily in the municipal website by making a simple search. At the second phase 38 municipal websites were studied.

The study resulted that FOI and privacy statements are non-existent on Finnish municipal websites. The study also revealed while there is sometimes an effort to provide information on municipal FOI and privacy practices, the information is scattered on the website and it is not easy to find. This is in accordance with the previous studies in other countries. Interestingly, long tradition of Finnish FOI legislation does not seem to make a difference when it comes to informing users about FOI and privacy policies.

Future studies should examine how aware are the citizens about FOI and privacy rights; whether the citizens trust authorities in handling information; and what are the reasons why authorities ignore to inform the citizens about FOI and privacy practices.


Tuija Kautto

Tuija Kautto is a designer for records production at Kela, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland. Before her current career, Kautto worked as a university teacher in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Tampere (Finland). She has a Master of Science degree in Records and Archives Management and a PhD work in progress. Besides teaching, Kautto has been a speaker in seminars and training events that were targeted for records management professionals. Kautto has also worked in the District Court of Keski-Suomi and in the City of Jyväskylä. She has also over fifteen years of experience at a private sector. 

Pekka Henttonen

Pekka Henttonen is adjunct professor in the Faculty of Communication Sciences at the University of Tampere (Finland) and has a PhD in information studies. His special field is electronic records management. Henttonen has published research about requirements for electronic records management systems, metadata, knowledge organization, and Finnish archival history. Before his university career, Henttonen worked in the National Archives and Military Archives of Finland. Besides scientific publications, he regularly writes to professional journals and is a frequent speaker in national and international conferences.




Hvordan referere

Kautto, T., & Henttonen, P. (2017). Availability and findability of FOI and privacy statements on Finnish municipalities’ websites. Tidsskriftet Arkiv, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.7577/ta.1968



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