Data protection and absurdity

 

Sir, – The recent introduction of the general data protection regulation (GDPR) appears to be creating some bizarre and unintended consequences for the citizen and consumer.

These include requests for even more detailed personal information, such as scanned images of passports or driving licences, and refusal to provide details of personal information already held.

A colleague was asked to supply a scanned image of her passport by a mail-order firm, which she wisely refused.

Passports were surely never intended for commercial operations.

In my own case, a life insurance company contacted me by mobile phone (always a dangerous nuisance when driving) to ask for confirmation of my address. They then said they had another address on their database, and when I enquired what it was, I was told “they could not give out this information due to data protection regulations”. They could not provide me with my own details!

Should any of these organisations be hacked, as indeed some have been, the hackers will find a treasure trove of data on passports, driving licences, bank account details, mobile phone numbers and addresses – impeccable information for identity theft.

One would think that credit cards should provide sufficient protection for commercial transactions, so just whose data is being protected and for whose benefit? – Yours, etc,

GEORGE REYNOLDS,

Blessington,

Co Wicklow.