View Full Version : Starting an SPRL- very intrusive, publishes personal info!

18-09-10, 13:46
Belgian notaires publish the following sensitive and irrelevant data when someone forms a new company:

* Address of private home where the director resides
* Directors nationality
* Directors full name (first middle last), and date of birth
* Directors place of birth
* Company HQ address, even if it matches the personal residence

It's understandable that the government itself would have this information, but very disturbing that the law requires directors to compromise their privacy and be made vulnerable to identity theft by this intrusive degree of exposure.

This information is all aggregated together, and forever made available to anyone with google. It's not difficult to imagine some of the abuses directors are open to:

* Future employers can simply use google to get an applicants age, and use age-discrimination in the initial hiring phase
* Future employers can discriminate on the basis of nationality in the initial hiring phase, rather than simply confirm work authorization later on
* Identity thieves are freely given details that are often used by banks to confirm identity
* Business competitors know where a director lives
* Terrorists can easily harvest a list of American or British business owners, for example, and gather addresses for where they live.
* Ex-lovers (stalkers) are given easy access to the home address

The question is, what can someone do if they want to start a company, but require a reasonable amount of privacy? Is this impossible?

18-09-10, 17:08
Hi civillib, well we live in society and that brings compromising of our identity in many ways. Almost by definition.

If it's come to internet accessibility to information, we are off balance and still experimenting. What I mean is:
We used to live in villages where everybody knew us from moment we were born. On top of it we lived in households full of people all the time. There was no privacy back than. If you did something wrong, people new who it was, and village came hard with justice.
With industrial revolution most of peeps live in cities. You went on the street and barely anyone knew you. The phenomenon of privacy/hidden identity started, and was thought as a normal thing for a good century or two.
Now thanks to Internet the world shrank again to the size of a village, global village. People, and government helps too, put all their lives on the net, in Facebook, blogs, you name it.
Even if some people want to be invisible, most (especially young generation) will be on net with all their lives. Maybe this is our social/village instinct kicking in. New generation doesn't believe in anonymity, instead they are completely living on the net.
Things are a bit off balance because the internet is a new thing and we didn't develop good tools for fighting criminals and protect citizens on the internet. With years things should come to balance.
On other hand I'm really upset with banks and public institutions for not securing our identities in better ways. They should use technology and richer information, instead of relying on our birth date and address for opening accounts or other operations. This is laziness and stupidity.
I think things should come to balance in near future.

20-09-10, 22:02
This is unbelievable. It's time the Belgian State did something to protect people's privacy. Do you know if this data is published on the Internet as well ?

I wonder if that is why the other main type of company in Belgium is called Société Anonyme (S.A.), because the founders, shareholders and directors remain anonymous (I am not even sure this is the case).

07-03-11, 21:33
Do you know if this data is published on the Internet as well ?

The information is published in the Moniteur Belge. The Moniteur Belge appears to be searchable from the web, but I don't know french so I'm unable to search effectively.

What's interesting is that even though it's all published, organizations that need the information to verify that a company exists often don't know how to do the search, and ask for paperwork that mirrors what's published anyway. Some organizations are able to search the Moniteur Belge, however, what little convenience that brings is not worth the privacy compromise.