Barclays violating privacy laws

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Barclays violating privacy laws

Post  Sirop14 on Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:21 am

Barclays violating privacy laws

27-April-2016
Privacy is not simply a precious and irreplaceable human resource; respect for privacy is also the acknowledgement of respect for human dignity and the individuality of mankind.
Governments and banks and other institutions can only collect personal information that relates directly to an activity, no less and no more. For example if you are applying for a loan you can expect the lender to ask you where you work and how much you earn and they may wish to see proof of your payslips before they lend you other people’s money. Banks do not have any money they use other people’s money, just like the Government does not have any money they use tax payers money but most times they think it is their money. The lender may need to know your marital status just to make sure that if you fall ill your husband or wife can continue to pay back the loan. Of course they need to know your name, address, telephone number and nowadays your email address and may be other income but that is about it. If you have a savings account they do not need to know whether you have other accounts with other banks etc because that is not required and none of their business.
Privacy is matters relating to your life, your family’s life, your home, your phone calls and emails, your sexual orientation, sexual activities and habits, your friends, your marriage and the only time your privacy can be disturbed or encroached upon is when you have committed a crime. Article 8 (1) of the European Convention of Human Rights of 1950 protects the rights to respect for private life and any violation can be brought to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of the United Nations of 1966 also protects privacy. Our own Constitution makes provision for our privacy to be respected.
These laws state, inter alia, “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his/her private, family, home or correspondence nor to unlawful attacks on his/her honour and reputation. The Human Rights Act 1998 incorporates the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights and it calls for respect for private and confidential information. In English Law, which is practiced in Seychelles, a person has a legal right to refuse to give private information especially when the person believes that the personal information will be stored on computers where hackers can have access to his/her personal information. There is no such thing as “safe banking” nowadays.
Notwithstanding, Article 8 (2) of the European Convention of Human Rights of 1950 provides that in the interest of national security and safety or for the prevention of disorders or crimes or for the protection of others some of your private information may be required and as a good citizen you have to divulge such information even though you know your information may be compromised. Therefore you divulge only what is required not what you had for dinner last night or for breakfast this morning. Some companies in the developed world use the information you provide to carry out marketing campaigns to sell you certain goods which your personal profile on their computers tell them you may be attracted to purchase. I know this for sure because my background is marketing.

New technology brings forth new crimes

Technology is now affecting our everyday modern life in ways that we never anticipated in 1950 when computers started to proliferate in industries and institutions which means there has never been a more important time for you and I to control the amount of personal information we give out. We have our rights which are defendable in courts of law and it is up to us to control what we put in computers where others have access authorised and unauthorised. Last year I had a dispute with Barclaycard in UK because they told me, accidentally, that their operatives all the way in their Call Centre in India can look at my current account with Barclays in London to check on my available balance and transactions. I went ballistic to think that a young man or woman in India can be employed by Barclaycard and that person can have access to my personal bank account with Barclays Bank in London which is a different company. They told me that they vet the operatives for security which is a load of codes wallop because how can you vet a few young people in a population approaching 1.3 billion and trust these people with my personal account details.
What happens when they leave Barclays Call Centre’s employment?
Do they take the codes with them and then they access my account?
Banking is not safe anymore and yet we are oblivious to it and we give our personal information willy-nilly then we wonder why money goes missing from our accounts.
A person’s privacy and dignity has no price and some people are prepared to die to protect their privacy and dignity. If someone in a bank or in government becomes careless with your privileged information you can bring a court action for injury to your dignity known as “actio injuriarum” for delict (a civil wrong) for his/her lapsed duty of care or a tort in Common Law such as negligence with your private information.
Banking fraud is so huge, estimated to be in the region of US $190 billion lost annually by banks and merchants alone not counting the credit card scams that goes on even here in Seychelles. The reason is because too much information is available to potential thieves and banks, insurance companies, agencies, governments and other companies ask for too much private information. They are not satisfied with just the information they need they think they are being smart when they ask you how often you go to the toilet, if I may indulge in a little anger showing.
When you consider the records of some banks for example in a court settlement in the United States Barclays Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, JP Morgan and Citigroup were fined US $6 billion for conspiring to manipulate the currency market. The Swiss Bank UBS pleaded guilty to manipulating the Libor currency rates which goes to show that banks can no longer be trusted.
Barclays CEO Anthony Jenkins is reported saying “some individuals within the bank have once more brought our company and industry into disrepute” when it was found that Barclays staff continued to engage in misleading sales practices. This is after the saga of Bob Diamond in 2012 where Barclays was fined for “fixing” the Libor rates.

Unnecessary and unwarranted threat by Barclays Seychelles

A friend of mine brought me a copy of a letter and a two-page form from Barclays Bank Seychelles in which Barclays want to know every single detail about my friend. Not only do they ask for information they are not entitled to know they also threaten their customers that if they do not complete and return the Form by May 15, 2016 that their account will be rendered “inactive”. Can you believe this is happening in this day and age when we know our rights?
Not only that Barclays Seychelles had the nerve to say that the money you have placed with them and which they have utilised to make more money is now not going to be available for you to use just because you do not answer their unnecessary questions or you do not return the form by a certain date. If such a form if completed out of fear or ignorance it can create serious risks to someone’s bank account in the hands of unscrupulous hackers. Hackers are everywhere even here in Seychelles.
I rang Barclays Bank Seychelles and spoke to the retail director who signed the letter dated April 12, 2016 and he told me that customers do not have to answer all the questions but then I ask him why send such a form out with a threat of making customers’ account “inactive” if they do not comply. I asked him if that was a directive from Central Bank and he told me that Central Bank has asked all banks to bring their customer profiles up to date. His reply was feeble and unsatisfactory so I rang Central Bank and spoke to someone in the department that deals with local banks and she said she will call me back. At the time of going to press I have not heard from that person.
If Barclays suspect fraud then Barclays should pass the case to FIU who are mandated to look into all aspects of fraud but to send out a threatening letter to its customers makes us feel like we are members of ISIS or Al Sha Bab or some dodgy organisations. It is not acceptable and Barclays Bank Seychelles should call back all these letters. For example why does Barclays Bank need to know what other accounts you have with other banks and the account details?
This is none of their business because in a competitive banking environment one should be free to choose which bank one uses and this information is private and confidential.
In future can you please think first before issuing threats to your customers?
This is a very serious marketing crime and many customers will go elsewhere. I have already discussed my many concerns with the new CEO of Barclays Bank Seychelles, the fact that I queued up for 1.5 hours to see a customer advisor and that I find the staff moral to be low and the fact that some training is necessary.
The ball is in their court but our rights are not for violation by anyone.

Contributed by:

Barry LaineFCIM, FInst SMM, MCMI, MBSCH
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Sirop14

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