UK: ICO to make enquiries about sale of pension data

From the ICO:

Allegations have been made about firms passing on sensitive financial data, including pension information, which is being used by cold calling companies.

An ICO spokesperson said:

“We’re aware of allegations raised against several companies involved in the cold calling sector, and will be making enquiries to establish whether there have been any breaches of the Data Protection Act or Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.”

As the EveryInvestor site explains, the inquiry stems from allegations in the Daily Mail that:

  • Highly sensitive details of millions of pension pots were sold for as little as 5p
  • Private information is passed on to firms without customers knowing
  • Data is then sold on, ending up in the hands of fraudsters and cold callers

As the Daily Mail explains their investigation:

The Mail’s undercover reporters targeted data firms, posing as a cold-calling company looking for people with pensions to whom they could sell investments.

We found some firms were willing to sell financial data on thousands of people without making any checks on what it would be used for.

A director of one firm – B2C Data – boasted he had access to the salaries, investments and pensions of ‘a million people’. The information he sold to the reporter includes details of the salary, pension pots and investments of 15,000.

 

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