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Polaris of Enlightenment

Monday, June 17, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Protected identities of hundreds of Swedes exposed

Published 21 December 2023
- By Editorial Staff
The most common reason for women to have a protected identity is due to domestic violence.

More than one in three Swedes with a protected identity say they have had their protected information leaked, according to a new report from the Swedish Tax Agency. Almost a quarter of them say they have been found because of the leaked data.

About 28,000 people in Sweden have some form of protected personal information, which currently has three different levels. Two of these are handled by the Swedish Tax Agency: protected civil registration and confidentiality mark. Among women, the most common reason for protected data is domestic violence, while among men, work-related violence and threats or intimidation from criminal circles are more common.

Of these 28,000 people, 37% report that their protected data has been disclosed by authorities or other actors. Often the consequences were so serious that they had to move or change jobs. 23% say they have been threatened or been the victim of threats or violence as a result. This could be anything from the health service, courts, social services and the landlord who disclosed the information.

– A perceived disclosure always causes concern and can also result in costs and changes in daily life. Most respondents who said they had been compromised said that the reason for the compromise was ignorance or carelessness. This is an area of high priority for us, both internally and externally. The responses we have received give us a good basis for further improving our work, says Camilla Karp, section manager at the Swedish Tax Agency’s population registration department, in a press release.

Voting cards arrived late

This is the first time that the Swedish Tax Agency has conducted a survey with the group that protects personal data. A questionnaire was sent by mail to 6,700 people with protected data in Sweden.

– We thought the response rate of 17 percent would be even lower, partly because it is a vulnerable target group that may be afraid to respond to letters and the like, and partly because we could only send the survey by physical mail without any reminders, says Karolina Palmér, an analyst at the Swedish Tax Agency, according to Dagens Samhälle.

The report also shows that people with a protected identity often have some practical problems, such as dealing with mail. Bills and medical appointments do not arrive on time, leading to payment arrears. It is also notable that some report that their voting cards did not arrive on time.

– It’s not a huge number, but it’s still something very serious that there’s a group in society that can’t vote, says Palmér.

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