Sunday, 9 October 2011

Data quality vendor not interested in data quality?

CIFAS should be all things to all people. They provide a platform for members to share data about fraudulent transactions - and provide ways of protecting individuals against identity theft. All wrapped in a not-for-profit organisation.

But dig below the surface and all is not as it seems.

Part of the facilities they provide is protective registration. This means that either at your request or the request of a CIFAS member, they will place a notice on you credit records saying that when a credit application is made in your name or from your address, then there should be additional checks on the identity of the party applying.

This helps with the big problem of identity fraud; regaining control of an identity and preventing further abuse.

However go and have a Google for them. There seems to be an awful lot of people out there who are not being protected - they are being prevented from obtaining credit due to a CIFAS listing. So at best, CIFAS have failed to communicate what their policy is to their members.

But suppose you find yourself unfairly blacklisted by CIFAS. How do you go about correcting this? Surely CIFAS, who generate income from providing accurate information would not only take an active interest in resolving individual cases, but would also seek to monitor the reputation of their members' recommendations? Indeed according to the Data Protection Registrar, that is what they are obliged to do, regardless of their business model.

However according to the CIFAS website, issues regarding innappropriate/innaccurate registrations must be directed to the member company and ”CIFAS will not become involved in a dispute until the CIFAS Member has issued a Final Response letter.”

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