Reblog from post in 2009. Very relevant to the Tracey series.

Virtual Shadows

I was surprised when taking a coffee with one of my colleagues in the office. She received an SMS thanks from another of our colleagues her for the birthday greeting. When I asked her, how did she know, she said she found it online at http://www.birthday.se/kontakta-oss/Default.aspx. She then told me when my birthday was and even a map to where I lived (although they did get this wrong). Nevertheless surprise became horror. I had already removed my details from www.hitta.se only to find myself at another site. So I checked with a previous colleague of mine (Martin Da Fonseca) that studied security law in Sweden if this was in fact legal? And this was his response.

“It is legal. The service provided by Upplysning.se is regulated in Kreditupplysningslagen (credit information legislation) (1973:1173).

I believe the service provided by birthday.se is using (or exploiting) the fact that this information is…

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I was really annoyed to find when I got my new iPhone a couple of years ago to see all my contact details on hitta.se AGAIN. I had already more than once been in contact with them and other companies that somehow get hold of my personal information and make it public to REMOVE it immediately!

I’ve been somewhat preoccupied the last couple of years, so found the effort just too much. However, today I was feeling like battle again when I Googled myself and found my name and everything about me popping up. I was so delighted to see that hitta.se have now included an option to remove your details from their database.

So if you are in Sweden and battling to keep your “kontakt uppgifter” private. Just pop in there and make the change… of course it doesn’t solve everything, but at least its a start!