The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office has found that the credit agency Experian has been sharing the personal information of millions of people without their consent in a blatant disregard of GDPR.
More details of this story here:
Experian: Credit agency told to stop sharing data without consent
The data industry has been under the spotlight for a number of years, and this incident brings forth the importance of data privacy once again. Credit agencies are in a privileged position of collating personal data for the purpose of credit referencing. I welcome the ICO intervention into the way companies like Experian have used this collected information for marketing purposes. No organisation should feel they are exempt from the legislation that is there to protect consumers.
This incident further highlights the fact that there is still a long way to go when it comes to data hygiene, enhancement, and best practices. Organisations must understand that failure to handle data appropriately can lead to stark reputational damage and, at worst, financial penalties.
Additionally, consumers are becoming more prudent when deciding who they share their data with, with many understanding the value that their data can hold. Understandably, for marketers, there is much to be gained from the data held in various platforms, which provides behavioral insights that are fundamentally unique and can generate further sales.
With Google embarking on plans to remove third-party cookies from its Chrome browser by 2022, a broader transition is happening, marking the shift from 3rd party data to 1st party data. It is important that more companies invest in and look to build up their 1st party data intelligence now, through their own profiling tactics, to glean insights that are earned and freely offered up by the consumer. Importantly, there is also less privacy risk, as all data is organic and therefore more aligned with the regulatory standards of today.