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Parliamentary questions
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4 February 2019
Question for written answer E-000669-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Gabriele Preuß (S&D)

 Subject:  Risk of identity fraud using copies of ID documents
 Answer in writing 

It is common practice on the part of hotels, money transfer services and other entities to produce copies of their clients’ ID documents in order to retain data to comply with legal obligations or to ensure the execution of a contract. However, the security and data protection authorities of most Member States regard this practice as constituting a risk in terms of identity fraud. This risk multiplies when copies are sent unencrypted via email.

Sensitive data pertaining to the legitimate holder can be obtained, and fraudulent transactions performed, using a copy of an ID document. Saving copies of an ID document is not in line with the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation on limiting data collection to what is absolutely necessary.

Thus far, Member States’ authorities have reacted to the problem by adopting soft measures, such as recommendations.

1. Does the Commission consider the copying of ID documents as entailing a risk of identity fraud?

2. How is the Commission responding to the problem at EU level?

3. Would it be appropriate to establish a clear EU-wide legal ban on producing copies of ID documents and to prescribe alternative means of collecting the necessary data?

Last updated: 20 February 2019Legal notice