Feeds

Norway sends entire citizenry's ID info to media

Tax office admits to massive data breach

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Norway's national tax office erroneously sent CD-ROMs crammed with the 2006 tax returns of nearly four million people living in Norway to national newspapers, radios and tv stations, news agency AFP reports.

Although tax statements have been open to public scrutiny in Norway since 1863, the social security number of each citizen remains highly confidential.

According to the tax authorities, the documents can only be opened by using a secret code and so damage may be limited. Norwegian Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen described the glitch nonetheless as "extremely serious".

In 2002 the national tax office in Norway also shocked the nation when the financial details of all Norwegian taxpayers were published on the internet. Until then it was only possible to see other people's figures by applying in person at a tax office. The head of the Norwegian data protection authority immediately asked for the practice to be stopped. However, it took almost a full year before the government, led by then-prime minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, passed a law restricting online access to a maximum of three weeks from the day of publication.

The latest tax blooper happened on the eve of a historic transatlantic pact between Norway and the US to share data about the private lives of its citizens. Travel plans, email addresses, mobile telephone numbers and even surfing habits will be made available to American security services in an effort to combat terrorism.

The Norwegian government says it wants assurances that the information given will be protected in a secure manner. Privacy advocates and rights groups in Europe have strongly criticised such deals with Washington. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.