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Sweden to limit Web credit data

June 03, 2007|From Associated Press

STOCKHOLM — Swedes will no longer be able to snoop through each other's finances anonymously on the Internet after a popular website agreed to tighten the rules on its credit information services, officials said Friday.

Ratsit.se, which allows users to browse the income and other personal information of Swedes free of charge, will impose the restrictions after pressure from the national tax authority.

Personal income is public information in Sweden. The National Tax Board requires citizens to request such information in person, but Ratsit allows individuals to do it online.

But the National Tax Board expressed concern that the online credit checks were being abused by Swedes anonymously perusing the income of their friends, neighbors or co-workers.

Starting June 11, people whose information has been viewed online will be notified by mail of who checked. Ratsit also will remove the income information from its free service.

Ratsit and other credit information companies imposed the new rules after the tax authority threatened to stop supplying the information electronically.

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