‘Monitor your spending’ scheme raises risk of ID fraud identity theft

“With increasing amounts of this data held on home computers or with third
party intermediaries, it may increase the likelihood of identity theft or
fraud,” the document said. A third area of concern is that fraudsters may
impersonate people to gain sensitive personal data.

Once the detailed information has been stolen, officials said it could be used
to carry out a range of crimes. For example, data on gas and electricity
usage could allow burglars to know when homes are empty.

The Government still believes the potential benefits of the scheme outweigh
the risks. It thinks people will be “nudged” to make changes to their lives
after analysing their data, such as working out the nutritional content of
their shopping or how “green” purchases are.

People may also be more likely to switch their mobile phone, energy or banking
services if they realise they are not getting a good deal.

Consumer Focus, a watchdog, is generally supportive of the Midata scheme and
welcomes its “positive potential”. However, it also warns that there must be
protections against companies seeking to gather data “with malign intent”.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said it has set up working
groups comprised of businesses, consumer protection groups and regulators to
examine the issues. Sources said the department is taking the concerns “very
seriously” but believes privacy and security issues can be resolved.

Plans to implement Midata on a voluntary basis are under way but if not enough
access to information is given the Government could make it compulsory for
companies to comply.

Article source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financial-crime/9770444/Monitor-your-spending-scheme-raises-risk-of-ID-fraud-identity-theft.html

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