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Info Trade Deplored

by msecadm4921

Could rogue employees be selling your personal information? So asks Experian, the Nottingham-based credit reference agency.

The firm claims that many cases of ‘insider fraud’ – where an employee defrauds his or her employer – could be prevented if companies holding personal information were to carry out adequate checks on the backgrounds of their employees before giving them access to highly confidential personal information. In a recent report that you can download from the Information Commissioner’s website www.ico.gov.uk the commissioner, Richard Thomas, calls for more severe legal penalties to prevent rogue employees from selling personal information to organisations which have no legal right to purchase that information.

What they say

Richard Fiddis, Managing Director of Experian, said: “Experian has always taken data security and the abuse or attempted abuse of data very seriously. Access to full and accurate information and data sharing are a cornerstone of the UK financial system and have played a large part in the success of the UK economy. Attempts to circumvent the system through impersonation or abuse are a crime every bit as serious as other forms of theft. Experian’s work on bin raiding and ID theft shows how serious and long reaching the impact can be and we welcome the Information Commissioner’s recommendation that this crime should be treated more seriously. Most financial institutions carry out financial background checks on new recruits with access to company or clients’ funds.  That’s simply common sense as well as prudent management.  We are also seeing increased demand for background checking for all employees among larger financial institutions but many smaller organisations and those not involved in financial services don’t seem to appreciate that they are also vulnerable to insider theft of their customer information. The Information Commissioner has highlighted the fact that it is usually rogue employees who are the source of illegally purchased personal information, which is being used by organisations such as newspapers, tracing agents, debt collectors and private investigators in contravention of the Data Protection Act.  Increasingly, professional fraud gangs are planting ‘sleepers’ inside companies, to be activated a year or two later to begin illegally supplying them with personal data.

“While we would welcome increased penalties, the best way to tackle this type of fraud is to tackle it at source.  That’s why organisations must take every precaution, including making checks during employment, to prevent employees being tempted to sell personal information illegally to a third party. Experian’s overriding objective is the protection of individuals’ personal information and their identity, which is why we employ the most robust information security systems available.  It’s also why we offer robust background checking services on employees and potential recruits, not just in sensitive roles, but throughout the organisation.”

Reasons to vet

Experian offers10 reasons why organisations should carry out background vetting, as well as to prevent insider fraud.  Background checking job candidates proves:

They are who they say they are; have the qualifications to do the job; have the experience to do the job; there is nothing adverse in their background; they are able to do the job; are not a terrorist/bank robber/paedophile/rapist, etc; will not steal from you or your clients; will be an asset to the company; their honesty by not lying about their background; and they will not cost you more money to employ than not to employ them.

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