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Is Your Data Protected When You Apply Online? | Personal Finance Blog - UKMoneyPot.co.uk

Date:6 July 2007 I Comments: 0 I Views:7,822

Have you applied for anything online only to find that you are continually bombarded thereafter with either promotional emails or phone calls or even junk through your letter box?

If you have applied for a loan recently you may find yourself subjected to phone call after phone call from companies all claiming to have received your application long after you’ve already arranged your loan.

Why does this happen?

Two possible reasons:

1/ the company to which you first applied is unable to help so they have passed your details to a company that may be able to. This is quite common and if you read a ‘data protection statement’ you will often find they often say that your information may be used in this way.

This allows the first company to do what it can to help you even if they can’t directly and the calls should stop if one of their ‘partner’ companies is ultimately able to help.

2/ you have unknowingly applied to a company that is not registered with the data protection act and they are now profiting from selling your details to companies that want your business. This is an unethical practice that can result in your information being sold to dozens of companies.

Companies can legally buy your data but most would do so thinking they are the only ones being sold the information and that your application is ‘fresh’.

Unfortunately this isn’t always the things happen and consequently you may be contacted by companies responding to your application long after you actually applied.

The best way to avoid this is to make sure the company you are applying to is registered with the data protection act. Most will make this very obvious if they are because it offers you reassurance.

The data protection act prevents companies being able to ‘farm’ your data out to whomever they want without your approval and they can be prosecuted if they do.

Companies that are registered have a unique number that you can use to confirm they are telling the truth and are actually registered.

Just go here: http://www.ico.gov.uk/tools_and_resources/register_of_data_controllers.aspx

Click on ‘search’ and you can find out if a company is registered by either entering their registration number or just the company name and/or address.

It’s free and only takes a few seconds so well worth doing before you make that application.

 

Category: General