The law requires that when instructing, for example, a solicitor or estate agent, to handle selling your house you need provide proof of identity and they duly photocopy your passport and driving licence (though its debateable whether they in fact need only note the reference numbers from them, but anyway …).

But what does that prove?  If you are laundering money chances are you will have bogus documents anyway!

Meanwhile, it simply means in this day and age of ID theft there are countless hundreds of copies of everyone's documents blowing around in the wind, so to speak.  It devalues the real weight of passport and driving licence to prove identity when it might truly be required.

And though, to continue the example, estate agents have no need or right to ask to see a copy of a house buyer's passport/licence (because there is no monetary custom between the two parties) many agents gormlessly try it on, and likewise many house buyers gormlessly oblige and hand their documents over.

When changing doctors surgeries recently I was asked to let them have a copy of passport and driving licence.  Oh yes?, I asked.  What law or regulation requires that?  Erm, well, oooh, uhmmm, dunno, there isn't one, sorry, we don't really need it.

Why is this idea important?

Identity theft is a growing problem with serious consequences.  The willy nilly sharing of everyones’ information for wholly unnecessary purposes just to satisfy a former Labour busybody in the Ministry of Control Freakery exacerbates the problem dramatically

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