Loans, online quotes: respect for consumers in difficulty

The companies that offer quotes online for access to credit must comply with the rules on personal data protection and can not “exploit” for marketing the weakness of consumers in the delicate moment of the search for possible sources of funding (loans personal, non-consumer loans, debt consolidation).

It is the principle that emerges from a provision of the Italian Privacy Authority which banned an online brokerage firm the use of personal information for marketing purposes without their specific consent to treatment. The intervention of the Privacy Authority was necessary to protect many consumers who are turning to service providers who act as intermediaries between users and intermediaries, such as banks or finance companies: these providers receive every day hundreds of requests for quotes.

The Authority, which occurred at a signal in which he complained of receiving unsolicited promotional communications, has found that the company submitted a model of users consent request only, already pre-filled in the box for assent, both for the provision of the service requested, and for different purposes, such as sending of business information and customer loyalty. The Italian Privacy Code provides that the parties concerned must be enabled to consciously and freely express their choices, showing a specific consent to the processing for each separate objective pursued by the data owner.

In addition to the prohibition measure, the Authority has required the company to modify and supplement the information on the website, notifying users clearly about all the possible data processing carried out, the way in which in the future may intend to perform the activity promotional or on behalf of third parties, and also the possible communication to other parties. Finally, if the company intends to continue to collect personal data for purposes other than the provision of the service, must acquire a specific consent for each purpose.