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Reservation of the PESEL number. President Andrzej Duda signed the law

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An act on limiting the effects of identity theft has been signed, which will make it possible to reserve a PESEL number, the press office of President Andrzej Duda’s office informed. This is to, among other things, increase protection against taking out data taken over by fraudsters, for example loans.

As reported by the President’s office, the Act of July 7, 2023 amending certain acts in order to limit certain effects of identity theft is primarily aimed at increasing protection against abuse resulting from data theft and limiting the scale of the phenomenon of extorting funds by incurring financial obligations to another person (e.g. loan agreements, loan agreements, real estate sale agreements) without the knowledge and consent of the owner, as well as the phenomenon of the so-called SIM swapping, i.e. making a duplicate SIM card, which can then be used to illegally authorize transactions.

Protection against credit and loan fraudsters

The purpose of the act – as Paweł Lewandowski, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Digitization explained during parliamentary work – is to enable holders of a PESEL number to reserve it in the register. According to the authors of the proposal, citizens will be protected in this way from fraudsters incurring financial obligations, such as credit and loans, on their data, or from issuing duplicate SIM cards by telecommunications companies. The Act provides that citizens will not be charged for a liability that was incurred without their knowledge despite the existing reservation of the PESEL number. Lewandowski explained that entities such as banks, credit institutions or notaries, before concluding a contract or taking action, will have to check in the register whether the PESEL number of a given person has been reserved. Verification of the reservation of the PESEL number will also be necessary in the case of cash withdrawals which, individually or as a sum of withdrawals made on a given day in a bank branch, on one day will exceed three times the minimum wage. If the PESEL number is blocked, the withdrawal will be possible 12 hours after the account holder submits the cash withdrawal instruction, even if the blocking is withdrawn. Reservations and withdrawals of the PESEL number can be made by any adult holder of the PESEL number using the e-service, the mObywatel application or in person at the commune office.

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Accelerating the return of driving licenses to drivers

In the Senate, Lewandowski emphasized that this act is primarily one of the elements of the package that is intended to protect citizens against abuses against them on the Internet. “Other actions we propose – not in this act, but in subsequent acts that will be processed – include the possibility of imposing new obligations on telecommunications operators so that they capture certain SMS schemes through which citizens are most often cheated – said the deputy minister. The government also proposed changes to the act on reserving PESEL, including, among others, speeding up the return of driving licenses to drivers in the event of discontinuation of administrative proceedings without the need to involve local government bodies, abolishing the obligation to stick stickers on the vehicle’s windshield with stickers entitling them to enter the clean transport zone, or the possibility of electronic return of the retained registration card of the vehicle inspection station. A fixed amount of the fine for failure to register the vehicle and notification of the sale of the vehicle will also be specified. Currently, it must be in the range of 200 to 1 thousand. zloty. After the change, it will be PLN 500 for the owner of the vehicle who has not submitted an application for vehicle registration within 30 days, and PLN 250 for the owner of the registered vehicle who has not notified the starost of the sale of the vehicle. In addition, the changes are intended to facilitate citizens’ access to information collected in the nationwide database on motor insurance contracts maintained by the Insurance Guarantee Fund, including the mObywatel application. This will allow the participants of an accident or collision to immediately check the insurance contracts of the participants of the event.

Read also: There will be a new ID. The ministry explains

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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