Barclays pimps your personal info out to the highest bidder
It seems to be the week for data shenanigans. After news of the Post Offices shocking failings on Monday (underlying issue still not sorted last we heard), details are now emerging of a different kind of data sharing- this time by banking giant Barclays.
As reported by the Guardian, Barclays are sending letters out to its 13m personal banking customers informing them that their trusted friend and confidante Barclays is so short of cash (they recently reported a dreadful £1.8bn profit in the first three months of this year) that the bank is selling their personal details on to
the highest bidder interested third parties.
Of course, while reassuring customers that there is “nothing sinister” going on, and that data shared with third parties will all be anonymised and purely numerical, the letter also details what information on their customers Barclays is currently collecting. Apparently, as well as any interactions on Twitter and Facebook, their dossier on customers "may include images of you or recordings of your voice" as well as mobile location data for use in claims of fraud. So they are maintaining records on what you look like and where you live and work. That’s not sinister at all.
In a statement the bank said: "We only use information in a numerical, anonymised and aggregated way, as is standard practice at many companies. It is not about providing information for sales or marketing use and does not include any personal data."
Barclays also denied ‘profiteering’ from customers claiming the new practice will be in line with industry guidance from the Information Commissioner's Office and the law. "Customers are always able to opt out of marketing activity and their personal data will never be passed on to anybody else without their explicit consent."
However, in line with current snooping scandals loitering around Google and GCHQ like a bad smell, Barclays admitted that the data could be passed to government departments and MPs to give them an insight into what was happening in their constituency, for example.
The new use of your data will take effect from 9 October, unless you opt out.