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New site makes checking friends' income easy

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12:14 CET+01:00
A new website has been launched in Sweden that makes it possible to find out your neighbour's income at the touch of a button.

The site, www.ratsit.se, has only worked sporadically since it was mentioned in several newspapers yesterday and new members have scrambled to sign up. At the time of writing the website's server was overloaded with 1,000 searches per minute.

The site makes it simple to find out the income details of a person or company. All you need is their name.

Ratsit differs from regular credit checks in that it allows the searcher total anonymity. The person whose details are revealed will not be notified that the transaction has taken place.

Swedish law already makes it possible to phone the tax authorities to get the income details of a friend or foe.

“Now private persons can check a buyer's ability to pay in a simple, fast and cost-free manner,” wrote Ratsit's CEO Johan Forsberg in a press release.

The Swedish Data Inspection Board was able to confirm that Ratsit is a reseller for the credit rating agency Business Check i Sverige AB. As such it is authorised to provide this service, according to Dina Pengar.

Although the service is legal, the Data Inspection Board is not happy.

“We are very negative to the fact that an authorisation is used like this for a credit rating business. Consumer protection has disappeared completely,” Hans Kärnlöf, the Board's CEO, told Dina Pengar.

Kärnlöf added that the Data Inspection Board wants to close this loophole and is waiting for the results of a government investigation.

“It should have been ready on August 1, 2004 – it is so far two and a half years late,” said Kärnlöf.

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