Such databases are available in the United States, but aren’t common in Europe, where privacy protection laws are typically stricter.
By searching the Lexbase database, launched Monday by a Swedish company, users can instantly find out whether a person has any convictions in the past five years. A fee is required to get more information.
Lexbase has a map with dots showing where convicted criminals live and plans to offer a mobile app alerting users when they enter a neighborhood with a high proportion of residents with criminal records.
Though such records are public in Sweden, critics said making them so easily accessible could make it harder for criminals to re-enter society.