In the process of registering to Callcentric, they asked me a scanned copy of my passport.

I already gave them my mobile number, where they could possibly make an interview, and of course they have my IP address, which allows to obtain my identity from my ISP in case of a fraudulent activity.

I read this question, but it should be noted that I am not buying payment services, properties or applying for a job/loan. They just sell VoIP services, similar to Google Voice, who does not require your passport.

  1. Is this type of sensitive information required by some US law?
    A VoIP service has the same scope and purpose of an email service, after all.

  2. Will this reduce the risks involved, as the support staff writes, or rather compromise my security?
    Asking my mobile number for SMS authentication prevents identity theft, instead, giving out my passport data greatly increases the risk of the theft of my identity.

It should also be noted that, while they claim not to share my personal data, in their Privacy Policy it reads that the company "reserves the right to modify the Privacy Policy at any time without notice."


Another thing to make me wary of this practice is that, unless the passport is scanned by a trusted third party, any serious criminal would simply send a fake scan with fake information impossible to detect.

1 Answer 1

  1. No, this is not required by US law.

  2. This does not reduce your risks; it may reduce the risk to Callcentric that you will defraud them, or use their service to harass/defraud others. But, as you point out, it's not so hard to fake a foreign passport. It's unlikely that Callcentric has infrastructure in place to verify that the passport you provide is authentic. This actually increases the risk to you, as it's possible that Callcentric will have a bad employee or a data breach and thereby transfer your information to hostile third parties.

Ultimately, you've got to choose whether or not using their service is worth the risk to your privacy/security. I can't imagine giving someone a copy of my passport just to get VoIP service, but everyone's got to make that call for themselves.

  • In my opinion this requirement just creates an adverse selection of customers: honest customers will keep clear of their offer; scammers & swindlers, who give counterfeited data, will easily join. And I feel to belong to the former league. I also suspect that giving fake data, in itself, might not be a crime here, as they are not a formal authority (not that I am going to do to this).
    – antonio
    Aug 5, 2018 at 19:59

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