Identification

Sometimes, an organization will need to establish a person’s identity, such as that of a customer, e.g. to prevent fraud. There are different ways an organization can do this. Which way is allowed depends on applicable legislation and on the need.

Showing an ID
Often, all that is needed is for people to show their ID, such as their passport or identity card. This is usually referred to as “identifying yourself.”

Copying Data
After an ID has been shown, the organization may write down the sort of ID and its number. In a few cases, organizations have a legal obligation to copy certain personal data from someone’s ID.

Copy of the ID
An organization is allowed to make a photocopy or scan of a person’s ID only in exceptional cases.

Can I ask to correct or remove my personal data?

You have the right to ask an organization to correct or remove certain personal data relating to you. You can do so if those data are incorrect, incomplete, or irrelevant.

What can I do if I have a question or complaint about the copying of data from my ID or the making of a photocopy of my ID? You should always first discuss your questions or complaints with the organization that has copied data from your ID or has made a photocopy of your ID. If you have a complaint which the organization does not handle to your satisfaction, there are follow-up steps you can take.

What are the risks of photocopying IDs?

An ID, such as a passport or identity card, contains several personal data. Because of the privacy risks involved, the collection and processing of personal data is subject to strict statutory rules. Large-scale photocopying or scanning of IDs, for example, creates a risk of identity fraud.

Identity fraud occurs when someone illegally uses another individual’s personal data, e.g. to open a bank account. Victims of identity fraud may suffer financial and social damage for years.

Special Personal Data
An ID contains so-called special personal data. These are sensitive personal data that reveal information about a person’s race, health, or religious beliefs. Misuse of these data can lead to e.g. discrimination against or the exclusion of the person in question.

Am I allowed as an employer to make a photocopy of my employees’ IDs?

No, The Wage Tax Act requires the employee to give information that is relevant for the levying of the wage tax to his/her employer.

You should personally check your employee’s identity by means of an original document.

You should keep the wage tax statement for at least five full calendar years after the end of employment.

Identification Obligation in the Event of Inspection
As an employer, you have no obligation to have a photocopy of your employees’ IDs in case of a labor inspection. However, in the event of an inspection, your employees do have an identification obligation, meaning that they will have to show the investigating officers their IDs.

Is a car rental company allowed to make a photocopy of my ID?

No, this is not allowed. Only in the event of a legal obligation is it allowed to make a photocopy of your ID.

What entities have a legal obligation to make a photocopy of my ID??

Banks, notaries, and casinos have a legal obligation to establish the identities of their customers. To prove that they have met this obligation, they have to make a photocopy or scan of their customers’ IDs.

What can I do if an organization wants to make a photocopy of my ID?

Ask the organization why it is necessary to make a photocopy (or scan) of your ID. Sometimes an organization has an obligation to make a photocopy.

Photocopy without a Legal Obligation
If there is no legal obligation to make a photocopy of your ID but an organization wants to make a photocopy all the same, you may choose to submit a photocopy of your ID. However, in order to minimize the risk for yourself, you should ask the organization to cover your photo while making the photocopy, or you could make your photo invisible on the photocopy yourself.

On the photocopy, you should write the name of the organization the photocopy is meant for and the date on which you submitted the photocopy. Ask to get the photocopy back, e.g. when you check out of a hotel.

Identification Obligation in the Event of Inspection
As an employer, you have no obligation to have a photocopy of your employees’ IDs in case of a labor inspection. However, in the event of an inspection, your employees do have an identification obligation, meaning that they will have to show the investigating officers their IDs.