Trust in the state of Denmark

I was recently the victim of ruthless marketing by one of the local newspapers in Denmark, Berlingske tidende. Although I have never subscribed to this paper and I normally read the more liberal Politiken, a telephone marketer somehow obtained my mobile number and coaxed me into listening to the latest subscription offers.

I’m not normally a sucker for this kind of thing. Words of the salesman usually run over straight over my head and out the backdoor. A curt ‘no thankyou’ and a polite ‘goodbye’ usually ends the conversation and is proceeded by thoughts of ‘How dare they invade my private space at this hour?’

In hindsight I put it down to his flirting tone -The appeal of opposite sexes seems to be a powerful marketing strategy, in my case I don’t think a sales-woman pitch would have had quite the same ring to it. (I bashfully admit at this point that my salesman further coaxed me into a 3-month trial subscription).

Putting this aside, it has occured to me how much personal information is public and trusted in Denmark. My anonymous caller already knew my name, mobile number, address and fully expected me to quote my bank account details over the phone.

But I just couldn’t give him that trust…

To further illustrate how trust in people’s goodwill still exists here; All residents in Denmark have a national security number (CPR-number) which gives a whole host of information (age, income details, marriage status) to authorised, or not so authorised individuals. Its one of the reasons why things are reputably efficient here.

However a non-trusting person would realise that the CPR-card which you carry around with you also provides your address, so don’t lose your keys at the same time as your card, you are either relying on a trusted citizen to return it to you safely, or returning to a ransacked apartment.

Will this trust in goodwill last? Or will it slowly be relinquished to a more doubtful state of mind as people encounter more of the unfamiliar?


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‘here I collect thoughts and images of Copenhagen, things in the news, share experiences and explore identities; the sorts of things that come to mind when you live abroad and adapt to new surroundings’

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