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Ravage Webzine, 31 March 2014: 'ING continues to misuse customer data'

ING customers' payment data will be further analysed for commercial purposes in the near future. Violation of privacy is at stake.

ING will invest more in its analytical skills to better understand customers' needs and offer services beyond banking. "Deepening data analytics offers great commercial opportunities in both retail and corporate markets," top executive Hamers said this morning during the presentation of the bank's new strategy. Hamers believes analytical skills are at the core of his business.

ING wants to speed up the pace at which the bank comes up with new innovative initiatives for customers. To this end, the bank is creating the position of Chief Innovation Officer, reporting directly to Hamers. He must increase the speed with which new technologies are translated into customer services, with one of the starting points being that customers will increasingly use mobile banking.

The intention is socially rather sensitive. A few weeks ago, ING director of retail Hans Hagenaars was talking out of turn in an interview with Het Financieele Dagblad. Hagenaars said that by the end of this year, the bank wants to conduct a trial to start using customers' payment data to provide them with tailored commercial offers from third parties.

The suggestion from this that ING would start earning from customers' payment details led to criticism of the plan, saying ING would violate the legal protection of customers' privacy. After a week, ING Bank boss Nick Jue was forced to apologise and promise to consult with, among others, the Consumers' Association and the Dutch Data Protection Authority, but he did not distance himself from the plan.

Several privacy organisations oppose ING's Big Data plans. For example, Privacy First questions whether ING customer profiles are already being compiled and whether the bank should not ask permission to do so. "After all, from financial data, often the most sensitive details about people's private lives can be deduced. What safeguards does ING employ to prevent discrimination against its customers? For what further purposes and parties will ING's big data become available? The government? Insurers?", Privacy First said."

Source: , 31 March 2014.