Other countries could do the same to make things more transparent.
(please don't use my comment as a soapbox to start a labor rights debate)
Today, you have to login online and the person you look up can see your name in the log
I really don't see a problem with that and would still consider it public information.
So - there has been changes that resulted in less transparency or better privacy, depending on point of view
Makes me want to dig deeper and understand the WHYs and HOWs it's been accomplished.
As someone born in a war-torn country, interpersonal trust is very hardly imaginable outside blood-linked relatives. Overall, in such a society there is a high degree of mistrust between individuals from different social classes or regions. Publicly displaying resources like yearly income is the last thing that would come to anyone's mind. As an adult, I have no concrete idea how much a sibling/parent makes per month. We've become so used to being vague while uncomfortably sharing our earnings.
A place like Norway seems like utopia to me. Does the government intervene by sharing citizen's reported income? Who gets to verify, record and archive such info? Is there a kind of punishment for liars/cheaters/abusers? Is the disclosure of personal income a strict legal obligation or a non-binding local tradition? I'm fairly puzzled.
> Other countries could do the same to make things more transparent.
What verifiable tangible benefits does this have?
Simple, elegant and fair?
Mathematically perhaps, but people are people...
Don't need everyone's income to be public information to do that.
It depends if you want speeding fines to be transparent, or secret.
Is it a somewhat new regulation? Is it easy to access the information?
In case of Finland, the current legislation that makes tax information public was originally introduced in 1999 but I can't remember whether the records were also public (based on some other regulation) prior to that or not. In any case, it's not that recent. The Reuters article says Norway has had public tax information since 1863, but I don't personally know anything more about that.
AFAIK anybody's tax records are basically a phone call away. You can't just google for the information, though. I don't know how it works in Norway. (Edit: but apparently the sibling replies do.)
So when the tax agency makes a decision on your taxes that becomes public, i.e we can see what taxable income you have. One way this is used is by newspapers to look into the income of politicians (and other famous people..).
The right of public information is taken quite seriously by the courts (and should be taken more seriously by agencies that really like to classify the information as secret, which you then have to go to court to challenge). For example an organisation I'm associated with was able to get the cookie data from the Swedish Chief of Police which the courts determined was public information (although they were allowed to mask some information).