Barclays sale of customers’ data is outrageous - Jenny Willott MP

July 4, 2013 2:06 PM

Barclays are writing to each of their 13 million customers to give notice of plans to sell customer data to third parties. Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central Jenny Willott has urged Barclays Bank to think again, highlighting serious concerns over both privacy and Barclays' right to benefit from other people's information.

Jenny Willott MP said:

"I am completely outraged by this announcement from Barclays, not least because they have explicitly warned customers that the information they will be selling may include images of them or recordings of their voices, as well as general comments about the bank from Twitter and Facebook.

"This is an incursion into people's private lives on a huge scale; I think we would all be uncomfortable at the thought of pictures of us being used by unknown third parties without our explicit consent. I know Barclays have assured everybody that all the information sold will be completely anonymous, but that is hardly the point.

"Personal data from loyalty cards and the like can be useful in improving the service a company provides to its customers, but usually if information is going to be shared with third parties, customers are given the chance to opt out. Barclays does not intend to offer its customers that courtesy, and has admitted that the only way to avoid participating in the scheme is to leave the bank. Barclays should reconsider.

"On top of all this, Barclays does not even intend to offer its customers anything in return for selling on this data - other companies offer points, or money-off vouchers, discounts and the like. Barclays' customers won't get a bean."

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