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An Open Letter To Data Brokers


Dear Data Brokers,

We at MyLife Digital pride ourselves on being at the forefront of people-centric data solutions. Today we are contacting you because of the enforcement notice given to Experian by the ICO. We welcome action that encourages data brokers to improve the current opaque practices regarding personal data processing and move towards ethical data broking.

Data protection regulations put individuals’ personal data at the forefront of protection. This is not intended to hinder organisations from conducting their business. Rather, it should focus efforts on processing personal data with appropriate safeguards in place.

The ICO highlighted that improvements are needed in the following areas:

  • Use of appropriate and consistent legal basis for processing
  • Transparency / Invisible processing
  • Secondary use of data for other processing purposes

Whilst on the face of it, to overhaul data collection practices and rectify decades old data processing practices seems an insurmountable problem to overcome, this does not need to be the case. Solutions exist that enable organisations to better communicate how personal data is processed, via transparent mechanisms that better communicate the value exchange and empower the consumer to have an active involvement in how their data is handled.

The issues raised by the ICO can be addressed by two key pillars – transparency and accountability.

Data brokers obtain personal data from many other sources, as well as sources under their control. This means the individual that the data relates to, is often not aware of further processing by the broker. MyLife Digital recognises that to provide information to individuals involved would be a large-scale communication but this should not be seen as a disproportionate effort, we believe it is manageable. Provide each individual access to their data processing record, from which they can manage and update their choices by applying or withdrawing consent or exercising their rights, for example, to object to processing.

Our request of data brokers:

  • Demonstrate ethical data processing practices
  • Put individuals at the forefront of your processing
  • Provide relevant information to individuals about your activities
  • Enable individuals to make decisions regarding how they want their data to be used

Your outcome:

  • Increased trust and confidence in your practices as brokers
  • Better transparency and accountability
  • Create an equitable value exchange between you and individuals
  • The potential to create new and innovative services using data transparently
  • Hold compliant data and increase its value

Thank you for considering our request, please contact us to understand how we can work with you to achieve these outcomes.


MyLife Digital

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