Minister Beatrice Ask and the site, Ratsit, that revealed personal information. Photo: Bertil Enevåg Ericsson/Anders Wiklund/Scanpix. Montage: Swedish Radio

Minister promises action on identity leaks

After the tax agency was found to be revealing the addresses of vulnerable people, the Justice Minister says she wants to create a mechanism to make sure all government agencies protect personal data.

Swedish Radio Östergötland reported earlier in the week that a commercial website has made people's addresses available on the Internet, including the location of women living in refuges, and people in prison or psychiatric care. This information had been handed over by the Tax Agency (Skatteverket). The addresses of these people had not been classified as secret by the tax agency, despite being protected by, for example, social services.

Justice Minister Beatrice Ask now says to Swedish Radio News that people's personal data is handled in different ways by the various government agencies, and this can mean a person who wants to remain anonymous has to keep track of how their details are being stored.

The minister says she will start work in the autumn to plan a mechanism to harmonise identity protection work within the Swedish state. She expects a proposal to be ready in about a year.

According to the Tax Agency around 12,000 have a protected identity in Sweden, 60 percent of them women.

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