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  #1  
Old 16.02.2006, 14:06
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Ironies of Data Protection

Switzerland has some of the strictest data protection laws in the world. But IMHO it is nearly impossible to enjoy privacy and/or anonymity here because of rather questionable logic. For example:
  • Name MUST be on the letter box. No address numbers.
  • You are easily found by name or number in the phonebook unless you apply for it to be removed.
  • In this canton at least (SG) ANYONE can find out the name and address of a cars owner simply using the car registration number in a SMS or internet enquiry. You need a SUITABLE REASON to supress your rego details from such enquiries. Shouldn't the ENQUIRER require the suitable reason?
Such openess was probably OK 20 years ago, but with the rise in crime (especially electronic) its no longer safe.

My $0.02 worth.
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  #2  
Old 16.02.2006, 14:38
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Re: Ironies of Data Protection

Quote:
Switzerland has some of the strictest data protection laws in the world. But IMHO it is nearly impossible to enjoy privacy and/or anonymity here because of rather questionable logic. For example:
  • Name MUST be on the letter box. No address numbers.
  • You are easily found by name or number in the phonebook unless you apply for it to be removed.
  • In this canton at least (SG) ANYONE can find out the name and address of a cars owner simply using the car registration number in a SMS or internet enquiry. You need a SUITABLE REASON to supress your rego details from such enquiries. Shouldn't the ENQUIRER require the suitable reason?
Such openess was probably OK 20 years ago, but with the rise in crime (especially electronic) its no longer safe.

My $0.02 worth.
erm I just moved into a new house and put what I wanted on the mailbox....I've simply checked the "don't list" on my phone.

And the car registration searcher is hard to find and often you can only query 5 hated numbers in one day
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Old 16.02.2006, 21:28
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Re: Ironies of Data Protection

Quote:
erm I just moved into a new house and put what I wanted on the mailbox....I've simply checked the "don't list" on my phone.

And the car registration searcher is hard to find and often you can only query 5 hated numbers in one day
Got a link :-)

You'd think it would 'encourage' more courteous driving but apparently not.

Gav
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Old 17.02.2006, 09:37
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Re: Ironies of Data Protection

probably this:
http://www.stva.zh.ch/internet/ds/st...ild_index.html

and more here:
http://www.search.ch/search.html?q=a...ehrsamt&loc=ch
and possibly the best link:
http://wwl.markusbaumi.ch/db/autoindex.html
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Old 17.02.2006, 22:39
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Re: Ironies of Data Protection

Quote:
Switzerland has some of the strictest data protection laws in the world. But IMHO it is nearly impossible to enjoy privacy and/or anonymity here because of rather questionable logic. For example:
  • Name MUST be on the letter box. No address numbers.
  • You are easily found by name or number in the phonebook unless you apply for it to be removed.
  • In this canton at least (SG) ANYONE can find out the name and address of a cars owner simply using the car registration number in a SMS or internet enquiry. You need a SUITABLE REASON to supress your rego details from such enquiries. Shouldn't the ENQUIRER require the suitable reason?
Such openess was probably OK 20 years ago, but with the rise in crime (especially electronic) its no longer safe.

My $0.02 worth.
Absolutely agree. I find it scary that anyone can look up your car registration details. Well luckily I'm not a woman and don't have to worry about stalkers following me around, but I still find it disturbing. Even more disturbing is when you mention this to Swiss and they find it a necessary service. Well it is necessary when you want to start harrassing your neighbour because he has parked in front of your house.

I also believe that a silent listing in the phone book should be a right, and shouldn't require justification or additional fees.

Mark
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Old 17.08.2006, 10:30
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Re: Ironies of Data Protection

Not sure if this applies everywhere (but it probably does) but anyone can go and request to see my previous tax returns. They'll be told my taxable income for that year and the wealth I declared.

In a country which was pretty much founded on a tradition of financial privacy I find it a bit strange...
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Old 17.08.2006, 11:02
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Re: Ironies of Data Protection

Quote:
Not sure if this applies everywhere (but it probably does) but anyone can go and request to see my previous tax returns. They'll be told my taxable income for that year and the wealth I declared.

In a country which was pretty much founded on a tradition of financial privacy I find it a bit strange...
That's privacy for foreigners putting their money into Switzerland, from their local authorities.

If you are resident here, there's feck-all privacy for your accounts from the Swiss government.


It seems that some countries can have their cake and eat it. I wonder for how much longer such a condition can remain though.


Gav
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Old 17.08.2006, 11:05
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Re: Ironies of Data Protection

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That's privacy for foreigners putting their money into Switzerland, from their local authorities.

If you are resident here, there's feck-all privacy for your accounts from the Swiss government.
Actually I don't think they can look into your account, but they can compel you to turn over your bank statements.

Banking secrecy should not be confused with data protection or other forms of privacy.
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Old 17.08.2006, 11:07
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Re: Ironies of Data Protection

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I also believe that a silent listing in the phone book should be a right, and shouldn't require justification or additional fees.
In my experience, you don't have to give a reason to supress your phone book listing. You simply have to inform swisscom that you do not wish to be listed.

There are different categories (green, black, etc..) of listing that dictate where and to whom your listing is visible. Off the top of my head I can't remember exactly what they are, but something along the lines of: no paper phone book entry but electronic lookup permitted; or only available via directory enquiries if someone specifically asks for you and already knows your address... The black listing is basically 'none of the above' i.e. invisible to the general public.

I find the other things pretty surprising... especially the car listing thing, and agree the enquirer should have to give the reason! Thankfully I don't own a car!
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Old 17.08.2006, 11:14
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Re: Ironies of Data Protection

I went ex-directory years ago and have remained ex-directory - now you can I think specify online that you don't want a listing.

Anyone with twixtel 1998 can however call up my old number
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Old 17.08.2006, 12:36
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Re: Ironies of Data Protection

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Not sure if this applies everywhere (but it probably does) but anyone can go and request to see my previous tax returns. They'll be told my taxable income for that year and the wealth I declared..
I had no idea. Who gives out this information?
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Old 17.08.2006, 13:05
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Re: Ironies of Data Protection

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I had no idea. Who gives out this information?
As I understand it it's the community (gemeinde) where that person lives. I think you have to pay 15 or 20 francs for the information.
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Old 17.08.2006, 13:13
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Re: Ironies of Data Protection

I remember a fews years ago, when they debated changing the tax laws, the Sonntag Blick did a big story and publicised the Tax details of prominent local and federal government members who didn't object. Amazing how many had such high asset worth and paid such little tax. Quite a few objected.
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Old 04.07.2007, 22:49
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Re: Ironies of Data Protection

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  • In this canton at least (SG) ANYONE can find out the name and address of a cars owner simply using the car registration number in a SMS or internet enquiry. You need a SUITABLE REASON to supress your rego details from such enquiries. Shouldn't the ENQUIRER require the suitable reason?
Such openess was probably OK 20 years ago, but with the rise in crime (especially electronic) its no longer safe.

My $0.02 worth.
In Zurich you dont need to give any reason to delist your license plate. Just download the form named "Gesuch um Sperrung der Halterdaten im eAutoindex" at

http://www.autoindex.zh.ch/internet/.../de/forms.html

send it in to the SVA and youre done.

Stuart
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Old 04.07.2007, 23:58
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Re: Ironies of Data Protection

Excellent! I'll get on to that right now..
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Old 05.07.2007, 00:16
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Re: Ironies of Data Protection

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As I understand it it's the community (gemeinde) where that person lives. I think you have to pay 15 or 20 francs for the information.
A bloody good idea IMO.

For all the faults of the Swiss system (less privacy for individuals) stuff like this this does help 'keep people honest'.
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Old 05.07.2007, 09:30
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Re: Ironies of Data Protection

Similar stuff in Finland, you can obtain all sorts of information about someone tax returns.

Touchy subject privacy in Switz, there was a big scandal in the 80's when a kind of shadowy network was discovered that kept tabs on anyone with dissenting opinions, complete with "executives" that would have had taken care of the most subservice elements should the cold war got too hot. It shocked a lot of people.

Good point about stalkers re car plates but that's the same kind of logic that wants cameras banned from swimming pool with kids because the odd paedophile might take advantage of it. Ultimately, there is a risk but not one big enough worth banning it.
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Old 05.07.2007, 13:02
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Re: Ironies of Data Protection

I have a feeling that some Dutch authorities use the online lookup system to send fines to violaters with Swiss plates. Personally, I sporadically received fines from Holland (never from France or Germany), however the majority never gets sent to Switzerland. however, since I delisted, I have not heard from anyone anymore... Coincedence?
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Old 16.07.2008, 21:51
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Look up any Zurich number plate with AutoIndex

Did you know that you can look up any Zurich numberplate, to see the name and address of the owner of the licence plate?

The service called AutoIndex is provided online by the Strassenverkehrsamt, which allows you to look up 5 number plates in 24 hours. I was quite surprised...so much for data privacy in Zurich!
In the Netherlands, a car spotting website,autogespot.nl is used by organized crime to locate expensive vehicles and then steal them.

So next time you see a really exotic car in the Bahnhofstrasse you can see who's the registered owner! For example the Rolls Royce Phantom from the Baur Au Lac, ZH******...

Last edited by Nathu; 16.07.2008 at 23:08. Reason: number removed
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Old 16.07.2008, 23:06
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Re: Look up any Zurich number plate with AutoIndex

Yes, we know that (how comes you search the license plate index, but not the forum? )

I can see why people disagree with having their number in an index, but I fail to see how the cantonal indices support car theft? You can't look up rich people and the result doesn't state make and mode of the car.

Sorry for deleting the licence plate number, but everybody who looks it up in the index because he found it on EF breaks their terms of use.
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