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Glad I don't live in Sweden...

James Savige over at The Local has written what is probably the most frightening thing I've read on the web in the last 5 years. He's writing about the Swedish geneologists being required to get approval from dead ancestors before publicising genetic data.

Indeed, this over-zealous protection of one sort of privacy is in stark contrast to what, to a foreigner anyway, is a frightening lack of privacy in day-to-day life in Sweden.

Go and hire a movie, and you'll see what I mean. The assistant will ask for your national ID card, will then scan it over a barcode reader, and will then know where you live, have a record of your personal number and would, if they wanted, be able to go to the tax office and find out how much you earned last year.


I wonder how "identity theft" works there. If I'm not mistaken, in Sweden your pay is "normalized" so you make the same amount of money and have the same health insurance whether you're a brain surgeon or a garbage man, so maybe there isn't a risk there. The whole idea of someone having that kind of information on you just by running your ID against the database is terrifying.