The sale of customer information is a possible reality for Barclays Bank and its customers.
It seems that Barclays (an international and well known financial services provider) is considering the sale of its customers’ apparently private information. We know this because the bank has been forthcoming about the possibility of going ahead with these sales before the end of the year.
Even though the practice is legal, and the exposed details of millions of banked clients, are promised by Barclays to be “numerical” and not “personal”, clients of the bank and consumers in general, are becoming disillusioned by systems in the economy that are supposed to protect them but instead, are, like, Barclay’s, using their information to capitalize on data which would otherwise merely take up space, or cyber space rather. Statistics show that 41% of Europeans (taken from a sample of nine countries in the EU) are uncomfortable with the practice at hand and believe that big data holding companies are putting them in danger.
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But public opinion aside, the altered terms and conditions in Barclay’s customer contracts, will also allow the bank to capture customer data through social media sites and in an anti-fraud mission by following the movement of clients and their credit-cards travelling abroad through cell phone tracking. Surely not a bad thing in today’s slippery societies, or is it?
Is it fair to judge Barclays bank when many other financial powerhouses are following suit, including credit card super hero MasterCard who was berated in today’s papers for its own use of customer details for profit?
Some would insist that judgment is crucial here, like Nick Pickles, director of privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch who stated, “If this data has value, then it should be up to Mastercard to ask customers for permission to use their information and offer consumers something in return.”