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Releasing personal data is a risky business



Anna Gottschalk

4 July 2013

Read the original article in Danish


Peter Nørregaard, PA privacy expert, comments on the public release of Denmark’s land charges register, which holds information about property purchases, and the names and dates of birth of the people involved. According to Peter, if names, addresses and dates of birth are publicly available, it’s not difficult to use this information to find an individual’s personal identification number.

Identity theft has become more difficult as banks have made it harder for people to get access to account information when transferring money online, by mentioning only their name and their personal identification number. However, it still poses risks.

Peter says: “It’s still possible to use someone’s personal identification number to set up certain types of payment, such as instalment payments. In this case, the seller should ask for photo ID – however, a lot of people manage to evade this.”

According to Peter, a person’s date of birth is private and should not be made public in the land charges register; although even if this information wasn’t available, personal identification numbers may still be hacked.

Peter says: “Doing business based on names and personal identification numbers should not be allowed,” and suggests that NemID, the Danish digital signature, should be used instead.

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