Angela Neale’s letter must not be ignored.
In an era when data protection legislation stops me discussing my wife’s financial affairs with her bank without her consent, it is absurd that intimate details of the most valuable asset many people own are available to the world on payment of a small fee. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is not an open register. I cannot search for car owners or download copies of log books. There is no justification for open disclosure of privately owned-property details. Bank accounts remain private and protected by pin numbers.
Registered proprietors should be issued with a token of ownership. I suggest two distinct ‘pin’ numbers. One would authorise inspection of the register. The other, effectively a digital signature, would not be disclosed until completion of a transaction. That would also facilitate identification of the true owner. As with bank pin numbers, the proprietor should be able to change them periodically. Indeed, after each transaction other than a disposal of the whole, it should be normal practice to change both pin numbers to make sure that those used in the transaction are not later used for some nefarious purpose.
I am not saying this would eradicate fraud, but it should make life more difficult for criminals. The new ‘LL’ restriction is inadequate. It simply requires a conveyancer to certify that the person disposing is the registered proprietor. How does the conveyancer know? And how do I know that the person certifying is a real conveyancer?
Paul Clark, Cripps Harries Hall, Tunbridge Wells