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Privacy tip: Revealing account information - May 2008

May 2008
If a professor at Lancaster University can be criticised for reassuring a student’s mother about his well being (as reported in the Daily Telegraph on 15th May) marketers may wonder when exactly it is legitimate for them to reveal information they hold to relations or other third parties. The ICO Good Practice note on Providing Personal Account Information to a Third Party says: “You must ….. have appropriate safeguards in place to ensure that, if you do decide to reveal account information, you are sure that the person you are speaking to is either your customer or someone acting on their behalf.” 

The Office suggests requesting some form of evidence that the account holder has given their authority and reminds data controllers that they can refuse to divulge information if they have doubts about the veracity of the application.

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