Business Round-Up: Experts concerned by tax predictor app’s access to sensitive information

A TV2 report today highlights concerns that many people in Denmark are handing over sensitive personal information to a company called Skatteguiden, an app that enables members to find out how much tax they will receive, or have to pay, in regards to 2020.

Later this month, every tax-payer in the country will be able to find out the official amount, but over the last week Skatteguiden, a company launched in December 2020, has been promising a shortcut to the final figure.

In total, it has been downloaded 200,000 times.

No guarantees over security
An estimated 80,000 people have already handed over permission to Skatteguiden to mine all their personal information from, and experts are concerned.

Henrik Larsen, a board member of Rådet for Digital Sikkerhed who is also the head of the network security watchdog DKCERT, told TV2 “there are several things that make my alarm bells ring”.

“We have no control over the security of such apps and there may very well be a vulnerability,” he said.

No date deleted yet
TV2 reports that 6,000 users have already written to Skatteguiden asking it to delete their records, but nothing has happened yet, which Larsen finds unusual.

According to Skatteguiden, should users request it, the information will be deleted within 30 days.

“We work at high pressure, and we had in no way expected we would receive so many requests,” Skatteguiden head Nikolai Geurtze Høgskilde told TV2.

Skatteguiden claims it can almost exactly predict 90 percent of all users’ annual statements.

Inflation rate stable as most EU countries see increase
Denmark’s inflation rate did not rise in January like in most other EU countries, according to Danmarks Statistik. It remained at 0.4 percent, while the EU average rate rose from 0.3 to 1.2 percent, and the eurozone average jumped from -0.3 percent to 0.9 percent. Poland, at 3.6 percent, has the highest rate in the EU, and Greece, at -2.4, has the lowest.

Property prices increasing, with summerhouses leading the way
Danmarks Statistik has confirmed that property prices rose across the board in 2020, with summerhouses leading the way with a 8.2 percent surge, followed by condominiums (5.7) and family homes (4.2). In total, there were a record 61,000-plus family and holiday home sales. Bornholm saw a 14.9 percent increase in holiday home sales.

Denmark’s Innovation Barometer basking in its success
Six years after its debut, Denmark’s Innovation Barometer is picking up traction. During that time, 56 participants from 20 countries have joined. Created in collaboration with COI and Danmarks Statistik, the barometer encourages an aligned international standard on public innovation. Since its establishment, the Nordic countries have followed Denmark’s lead and introduced their own versions.

Initiative launched to boost tourism in Copenhagen
The Foreign Ministry, Copenhagen Municipality and Wonderful Copenhagen has launched a new 70 million kroner initiative to boost tourism in the nation’s capital. Comeback Copenhagen includes 12 initiatives that the parties envisage will help rebuild tourism, whilst boosting exports. The initiative will continue through 2023.

Arla makes further ecological footprint pledges
Arla is introducing further measures to take responsibility for its ecological footprint. The multinational dairy company had previously stated it intended to heavily reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and be fully CO2-neutral by 2050: “From the cow to the kitchen table” was how the company put it. Arla has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 7 percent since 2015.

A growing taste for organic eggs
Organic egg purchases are soaring, with an estimated 30 percent of Danes now willing to pay a little extra for both the eggs and other organic other dairy products

Irma leading the way with the fewest plastic bag sales
In the last three years, Irma has successfully halved sales of its plastic bags – the best performance among all Danish supermarkets. Not only that, but it has also doubled the sales of its recyclable bags. Designed by Klaus Samsøe, they are upcycled from old restaurant napkins and tablecloths.

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