I am being continually amazed by the lack of respect there is here in Sweden for personal data. I have written so much on this subject already. However I came across this article a couple of weeks ago concerning Ratsit (who are one of those companies that have an ‘utgivningsbevis’ which means they can use our personal data and make it public to make money). Well they have been so kind as to remove from their search results names of vulnerable women living in shelters, and other categories of individuals that should be protected!

Thank you for being so considerate Ratsit…… now would you be so kind as to remove my name too…..

Following up my previous posts on identity theft/fraud is should give more credit to merinfo.se…….

Merinfo.se is probably one of the best websites for finding an all-round picture of an individual. In here you will find their first 6 digits of their personal number which is their date-of-birth…but what’s new? Also where they live, same as other websites. In addition if you are lucky there is a Google maps picture of their home, and list of where they are sitting in board positions in companies and a timeline for these relationships.

I want to know how much you earn because you are applying for a job with my company and I want to check what your present employer thinks you are worth.

extrakollpng

This is easy to do in Sweden, and you as the data subject have no idea that this has happened. It is possible for any person to go online and request anonymously your earnings for 2 completed tax years in Sweden at http://www.extrakoll.se/, and the requester to get the information by SMS.

How do you do this is:

  1. Visit www.extrakoll.se and search for the name of the individual you are investigating;
  2. Then you will be requested to send an SMS to number 72323 with word INKOMST+code or/and STORKOLL+code;
  3. You are given choices of payment methods, 20kr or 40kr, depending on which option you choose;
  4. The earnings for the targeted person for 2 of the previously reported tax years will be sent to your mobile telephone!

There is no way you can prevent others from requesting this information on yourself.

Nevertheless, it is against the EU Directive on Data Protection because you, the data subject are not informed that this information has been requested, and your Personal Identifying Information (PII) is public domain. I am sure identity thieves find extrakoll.se a useful tool to research their victims. I just hope it’s not you!

Great discussion program on Sverigesradio P1 http://t.sr.se/1nn32KX running now (Plånboken). It discusses the breath of the problem, and how the Swedish police believe that there is no solution to protect us today.

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!

This is easy in Sweden. First even when I came to Sweden in 2003 it was possible to go to the tax office and request directly a person’s earnings during the previous tax year. Potential employers often do this to check that what you have stated on your present earnings is true. You as the data subject have no idea that this has happened. Although if an organisation makes a formal request for your earnings, credit status etc., you will be informed of this by a letter in the post.

Well a development has occured. It is now possible for any person to go online and request anonymously your earnings for the previous tax year in Sweden at http://www.extrakoll.se/, and you get the information by SMS.

extrakoll.se 1

So you just type in the name of the person that you want to know their earnings. The image below states (in Swedish) that you should send an SMS to number 72550 with word INKOMST. The earnings for the person will be sent anonymously to your mobile telephone!

extrakoll.se 2

I tested this and it works! The SMS arrived in a matter of seconds.

I really need to look more into this from the EU data privacy perspective. Or anyone else, can you comment on this? Surely your earnings should be classified as ‘sensitve’ information as it can discrimate against you no matter how you look at it. The only positive aspect is that you can ascertain if you are earning a similar level of earnings as colleagues doing the same work particularly important for women… but still I don’t like this aspect of not being able to choose myself to remove myself from this register!

Thanks to May for coming across this!