The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.

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The author of this blog, David T.S. Fraser, is a Canadian privacy lawyer who practices with the firm of McInnes Cooper. He is the author of the Physicians' Privacy Manual. He has a national and international practice advising corporations and individuals on matters related to Canadian privacy laws.

For full contact information and a brief bio, please see David's profile.

Please note that I am only able to provide legal advice to clients. I am not able to provide free legal advice. Any unsolicited information sent to David Fraser cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

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The views expressed herein are solely the author's and should not be attributed to his employer or clients. Any postings on legal issues are provided as a public service, and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.

This web site is presented for informational purposes only. These materials do not constitute legal advice and do not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and David T.S. Fraser. If you are seeking specific advice related to Canadian privacy law or PIPEDA, contact the author, David T.S. Fraser.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Spy in the bank 

The Guardian Unlimited's Observer is carrying a story about how a UK bank has "found a way round" the UK's privacy law so that its insurance division can use customers' banking and credit information to determine insurability. The article isn't clear about the "way round", but does give an overview of how insurers use credit information to assess whether an individual is likely to present an insurance risk:

The Observer | Cash | Spy in the bank

"The general insurance division of one of Britain's biggest banks believes it has 'found a way round' the data Protection Act enabling it to use customers' banking details to underwrite insurance policies.

Barclays Insurance intends to 'score' potential customers according to their banking records. The insurer says those with poor scores - perhaps because they have missed bill payments or are constantly in the red - are more likely to make claims than richer customers with good banking records. Clients with very poor scores may be charged more or not be offered cover at all, enabling the insurer to offer cheaper premiums to richer clients with better scores.

Adrian Grace, the managing director, told Cash he thinks the company will be able to start using the customers' banking information as soon as September or October.

'Affluence underwriting', as insurance credit scoring is often called, is common in the US. One American insurer, Progressive Direct, says it has found credit history 'to be predictive of future accidents, which is why we, and most insurers, use this information to help develop more accurate rates'...."


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