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Assembly Member urges Barclays to think again over sale of customer data

The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has urged Barclays Bank to think again over their plans to sell customer data to third parties.

Barclays are writing to each of their 13 million customers to give notice that they are beginning to do this, and that the information "may include images of you or recordings of your voice", as well as general comments about the bank from Twitter, and Facebook.

Mr. Black said: "Barclays have assured everybody, including the Information Commissioner, that all the information sold will be completely anonymous.

"That is not the point. Some companies harvest personal data from loyalty cards and put such information to use internally in order to improve their offer to existing customers. Others sell the information on.

"Usually, customers are given the chance to opt out, either by refusing a card, or by ticking or unticking a box. 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.

"The biggest insult however, is that Barclays do not 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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