New issues and opportunities
Experian regularly participates in public debates and the evolution of legislation that affects our industry. Many of the biggest issues facing us reflect the evolving reality and perception of the ethics surrounding the way data can be used.
One of the biggest issues facing us in Brazil has been our active participation in public hearings with the Consumer Defense Committee to debate the register of positive data, which will substantially affect our activities as a credit protection data bank and digital certification authority. We believe the inclusion of positive data in credit profiles will considerably improve the service we can offer and, ultimately, contribute to economic growth in Brazil.
In the UK the event that brought the issue of data sharing into common public consciousness was the loss of 25 million consumers’ details by HMRC. As the loss became public, media coverage overlooked the issue of the potential problem of identity theft. Experian launched a proactive campaign to ensure the public was better informed about simple actions they could take to protect themselves and increased the number of people supporting our free consumer helplines and victims of fraud service to support increased consumer demand.
We have a good relationship with the bodies governing information use in all our geographies, and in the UK this is the Information Commission. This year we were the representative credit reference agency that worked with the Commission and the Home Credit industry to help them agree the standards and processes they should use for sharing data. We are also involved in the UK working group set up following the consultation on the use of non-consensual data, providing a comprehensive representation to the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR).
Government regulation is one element that significantly affects the way we can deliver our services and the standards we keep to; another factor is the performance of third parties, both our suppliers and the clients we supply. In the US, newly proposed regulatory and industry controls are focusing on third party service providers and how they comply with their data protection obligations. Experian continues to take a proactive approach with regards to information security and data protection. We regularly enhance our third party risk management process to help ensure that changes within the industry are appropriately addressed via best practice initiatives.
Supporting our clients is key to us but we balance this with the interests of the consumer. This year we’ve worked closely with the UK Information Commission and trade associations to ensure that lender application forms are sufficiently clear and informative. In Brazil, we’ve been very careful in the way we communicate any change in a credit profile to the consumer and although not driven by legislation, allow no more than ten days to elapse after notification before implementing the change.