Beware: DNI/NIE requests could cost you

Safeguard DNI/NIE details

Image of a DNI. Credit: Government of Spain/Public domain

Spanish authorities have cautioned the public to safeguard their identification details against a common practice that could compromise the individual’s safety and result in hefty fines for businesses.

The Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD), has issued a stark warning against the habitual request for photocopies or photographs of the National Identity Document (DNI/NIE), labelling it a risky practice that could infringe on individual privacy.

A frequent practice amongst various institutions, ranging from public institutions to hotels and banks, demand copies of one’s DNI/NIE, a move that has caught the attention of the AEPD.

Notably, telecom giant Orange faced a hefty €100,000 fine for insisting on photocopies of both sides of the DNI/NIE for package delivery.

Privacy at risk

The AEPD emphasises the ‘data minimisation’ principle, advocating for less intrusive identification methods over the unnecessary collection of personal data.

The personal identification card holds sensitive information that could, if mishandled, facilitate cybercrime and scams. The agency criticises the unjustified collection of DNI/NIE photocopies, highlighting the potential adverse effects on data owners.

Call for change

The AEPD’s guidance is clear: alternative identification methods should be prioritised to safeguard citizen privacy.

This stance echoes the broader, global conversation on data protection and privacy, urging businesses to reconsider their data handling practices.

With fines reaching up to €100,000, the message is unambiguous—companies must align with data protection regulations or face significant penalties.

The AEPD’s warning serves as a crucial reminder in an era where data privacy is paramount. Requesting DNI/NIE photocopies or photos not only undermines privacy but also breaches security principles.

As the landscape of data protection evolves, it is imperative for companies and institutions to heed this advice, ensuring the privacy and security of personal information.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • Mac

      27 February 2024 • 09:09

      I am pleased to see this article because every orginisation I have ever dealt with keep asking for these documents and more and many for trivial reasons and it has always annoyed me. So I will copy this article and see what happens when I refuse to provide this information.

    • Neil Friday

      27 February 2024 • 10:13

      A good article. Living in Torrevieja, when asked about ID, I present them with my Torrevieja Citizen Card/Bus pass that has a photo embedded and NIE number in very large font. Alas as we know, the green Residencia Card does not have a photo.

      • Arthur Harrison

        28 February 2024 • 14:43

        Then change it for the TIE! Simples! 🤔👊

    • Helen Weir

      27 February 2024 • 12:18

      Helpful post, will share via

    • Charles Thomas

      27 February 2024 • 14:38

      This has become more frequent especially with everything being online, recent applications for employment have asked for copies. Surely as long as you give them your DNI/NIE number that should be sufficient.

    Comments are closed.