Not entirely futile. Laws targeting just identity theft arn't particularly useful because, as you say, there are many more reasons why you'd want to protect information.
However, you can get a long way by establishing some basic principles like restricting how and why people can collect information and for what purposes. Even things like: "If an organisation holds personal information about an individual, it must provide the individual with access to the information on request by the individual" can be a huge benefit. I should be able to go to any data collection company and ask if they have anything on me, what it is and let me check it for accuracy.
I'd prefer outlawing all selling of private identifing information since I can't think of any situation where it could be considered a good thing.
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