It's clearly been an intriguing week for Experian – the self-titled 'global information services company'.
Having proudly been associated with David Cameron's plan to use their databases to weed out benefits fraudsters; the reaction from civil liberties and privacy organisations (including ourselves, Liberty and No2ID) has clearly prompted some sound advice from their PR department saying that Experian needs to show it isn't just a company of state-sponsored bounty hunters, rooting through your personal finances for easy cash.
So, one opens the Times this morning to see the advert on the right for ProtectMyID.co.uk. A new venture from Experian which, for £4.99 a month – or what some might term 'easy cash', provides consumers with a group of bounty-hunters, rooting through your personal finances to see if anyone is misusing your bank details.
Those ever vigilant PR guys have even cooked up a special poll which shows how lax we all are about security on the internet, which includes a line from a spokesman who warns:
"..users need to be aware of what information they are giving out online and who might be accessing it."
Which we of course agree with. But it's funny how little Experian seemed to care about unfettered access to private data when it came to snooping on our tax records for the Government last week…
By Dylan Sharpe