Highly sensitive pension details are being sold for as little as 5p and ending up in the hands of criminals.
An investigation by the Daily Mail found that private financial information is being passed on by firms without their customers’ knowledge. This valuable data is then repeatedly sold on, ending up in the hands of fraudsters and cold-calling firms.
The Information Commissioner’s Office vowed to pass evidence to police and began an immediate inquiry into the firms involved. A Cabinet minister praised the investigation and promised action.
Sian John, chief security strategist EMEA at Symantec, said: “The non-consensual sale of private financial information highlights a blatant disregard for the privacy and security of people’s data. If businesses are going to continue collecting, using and selling people’s sensitive personal information, they must be more transparent about how this data is being used and the steps that have been taken to secure it.
“Today’s report highlights the growing need for businesses to be more transparent about how they use and store people’s information. If they don’t, it is only a matter of time before customers migrate to those organisations and services which will keep their data secure and be open about how it is being used.”