31-01-2008, 04:00 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
This was a question I sent to Equifax
This is in relation to your reply on ref 1234568. For some reason the matter has been closed and I was unable to reply.
In your previous reply you state you can continue to process these details for six years on the basis of paragraph 6 of Sch 2 of the Data Protection Act, however meeting a Schedule 2 condition will not, on its own, guarantee that processing is fair and lawful. The general requirement that data be processed fairly and lawfully must be satisfied in addition to meeting the schedule 2 conditions.
When I first applied for one of their phones I was only 19 years old and had no experience of ever having had financial problems. Accordingly I had no knowledge that Credit Reference Agencies even existed, let alone the functions they performed for the financial sector.
As at no time have I ever been supplied with the "Fair Processing" information as indicated in the Information Commissioners Office guidelines. These are some of the details that are included in the information, and it was only recently that I discovered I should have been furnished with them at the outset and so I should have been told the purpose or purposes for which the data were intended to be processed, and
(d) any further information which is necessary, taking into account the specific circumstances in which the data are or are to be processed, to enable processing in respect of the data subject to be fair.
In deciding whether, and if so, what, further information is “necessary” to satisfy (d) above, data controllers should consider what processing of personal data they will be carrying out once the data have been obtained and consider whether or not data subjects are likely to understand the following:-
(a) the purposes for which their personal data are going to be processed;
(b) the likely consequences of such processing such that the data subject is able to make a judgement as to the nature and extent of the processing; and
(c) whether particular disclosures can reasonably be envisaged.
It would be expected that the more unforeseen the consequences of processing the more likely it is that the data controller will be expected to provide further information. This aspect also has a bearing on the question of what amounts to consent (see specific consideration of this issue at paragraph 3.1.5 above); in the same way that consent must be “informed”, so data subjects themselves must be fully aware of the ways in which their personal data may be processed in order for that processing to be considered fair.
In the context of the 1984 Act, the Data Protection Tribunal has supported the Commissioner’s view that personal information will not be fairly obtained unless the individual has been informed of the non-obvious purpose or purposes for which it is required, before the information is obtained. (Innovations (Mail Order) Limited v The Data Protection Registrar (September 1993)).
Where companies do provide full details of reporting to CRAs and how their customers may be affected by missed and late payments, the absence of the fair reporting schedule might not be so serious, but with Orange providing a lack of information on those vital topics, one would expect that it should be virtually mandatory that the fair reporting booklet be supplied with all their contracts to avoid charges that their processing is unfair from the very outset.
You will notice that I was not even informed of the obvious purposes for the use of my information, let alone the non obvious purposes. If you bear in mind my age at the time I took out the contract, the complete lack of any relevant information as to how my data would be processed makes the processing unfair and therefore should not be processed any longer.
I request that the information be removed from my file due to the fact it is being processed unfairly. The information is also being processed unlawfully as at no point in the terms and conditions did it state that information would be processed for six years from the date of closure. As the contact is now over, so is any consent obtained from the terms and conditions of the contract.
Today I received the following reply that has made my blood boil. Its a standard template answer that dosent answer any of my questions. They seem tho think they can hide behind the "If your not happy talk to the ICO answer"
Thank you for your recent enquiry.
As previously advised the revocation of your permission for Equifax to continue to process your data, it is our view, also shared by the Information Commissioner's Office, that we are able to share account data between lenders and the Credit Reference Agencies for the duration of the contract and for 6 years beyond on the basis of paragraph 6 of Sch 2 of the Data Protection Act. This states "“The processing is necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests pursued by the data controller or by the third party or parties to whom the data are disclosed, except where the processing is unwarranted in any particular case because of prejudice to the rights and freedoms or legitimate interests of the data subject.”
My final investigation into this matter is now closed. If however you are not satisfied with the outcome of my final review, I would suggest that you may wish to contact the Information Commissioner.
The address is as follows:-
Information Commissioner’s Office
Alternatively, you may wish to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service. Please find contact information below.
Telephone: 0845 080 1800
If you require further information on the content of your credit file, you may wish to visit: https://equifaxuk.custhelp.com. Here you can view our Frequently Asked Questions and submit an on-line query or attach supporting documentation via our "Ask a Question" facility, with no concerns about postal delays.
We hope the above details are of assistance to you.
Equifax Customer Services