Barclays reveals plans to sell customer data to third party companies

Customers will be unable to opt out of data sale plans

Barclays is to make customer data available for commercial purposes for the first time, in changes to its customer agreements that will also see the firm begin tracking mobile devices in order to prevent card fraud.

As part of the Retail Customer Agreement rules, due to come into play in October this year, millions of the bank's customers will have their purchasing information offered to third party firms. The bank told customers that it will "use information about the transactions on your account" with a view to increasing its understanding of services and products that customers may wish to use. Although Barclays has used customer data internally in the past, for the first time data will also be used to produce reports that are then shared with third parties including other companies and government departments.

The bank claims that only anonymised data will be supplied, providing information such as what has been purchased, or where a purchase was made, rather than any individual, personal information. "This data is numerical and not personal, and you will never be identifiable on the basis of it," the customer agreement states.

According to Barclays customers will be unable to opt out of the plans, for which it says has received a green light from the regulators.

"We only use information in a numerical, anonymised and aggregated way as is standard practice at many companies," a spokesperson told ComputerworldUK. "It is not about providing information for sales or marketing use and does not include any personal data."

"This is all in accordance with industry guidance from the Information Commissioner's Office and the law."

Another of the changes highlighted in the customer agreement is the gathering of location information in order to improve fraud detection. This is enabled by 'pinging' a customer's mobile phone to detect which country a customer is in, providing another layer of defence against the fraudulent use of a credit or debit card in a foreign country. The Barclays spokesperson stated that such data will not be used any circumstances other than fraud prevention, and customers will be able to opt out of the service should they wish.

In a statement to ComputerworldUK, Jim Killock of the Open Rights Group contested Barclays' decision to offer sell data to third parties.

"Users need control of their data. Barclays should be asking people to opt in, rather than opt out, of data collection," Killock said. "Barclays' privacy changes are just one more reason why new strong data protection needs to be implemented in Europe."

Killock also suggested that Barclays' plans show that more needs to be done to protect customers in the development of the draft EU Data Protection Regulation, which has faced "immense lobbying", by giving customers more power over the use of their own data.

"As Barclays has been part of the massive lobby effort tabling 4,000 amendments to water the EU regulation down, MEPs should trust Barclays' motives to change the law even less now they can see what the bank thinks meaningful consent and control really means for its customers," he said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Cannes Part 1: Why brands must put human interactions at the heart of their business

As a Media Juror at this year’s Cannes Lions, I was fortunate enough to attend the world’s most influential festival of creativity and listen to thought-leading marketers from around the globe.

Nickie Scriven

CEO, Zenith

4 creative skills that will be useful forever

In recent times, the clarion call from futurists, economists, marketers, educators and leaders the world over is one of slight panic, “The world is changing and you’re not ready for it!” And of course, they make a very good point.

Kieran Flanagan and Dan Gregory

Speakers, trainers, co-authors

Why defining brand strategy is vital to capitalising on quick wins

Big brands were once protected from small brands by high barriers to entry. Big brands had the resources to employ big agencies, to crack big ideas and to invest in big campaigns. They had the luxury of time to debate strategies and work on long-term innovation pipelines. Retailers used to partner with big brands.

Troy McKinnna

Co-founder, Agents of Spring, Calm & Stormy

Being an investor who has an understanding of the finance industry, I would question the validity of this article, judging by the impairm...

Rowan

How a customer-led digital transformation has helped this CMO generate $6m in incremental business

Read more

An interesting update considering that today is the easiest way it has ever been to measure contribution to the business as well as the h...

Frederic

State of the CMO 2019: Tenure shortens, pressure is on as marketers strive to demonstrate impact

Read more

I thought this was what Salesforce Audience Studio (formerly Salesforce DMP) was supposed to do. How are a CDP and a DMP different? I'm c...

Tony Ahn

Salesforce announces customer data platform

Read more

Well written Vanessa!! Agreed with your view that human experience is marketing's next frontier. Those businesses who are focused on the ...

Clyde Griffith

Forget customer experience, human experience is marketing's next frontier

Read more

Great tips for tops skills need to develop and stay competitive

Nick

The top skills needed to stay competitive in a rapidly changing workforce

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in