Thousands Of Adults Across England And Wales To Claim £750 Share Of £34 Billion Bill Against Credit Checker Experian

Thousands Of Adults Across England And Wales Claim £750 Share Of £34 Billion Bill Against Credit Checker Experian. image: Pixabay

Thousands Of Adults Across England And Wales To Claim £750 Share Of £34  Billion Bill Against Credit Checker Experian.

Almost all adults in England and Wales could be able to get a £750 (€865) share of the £34 (€39.8) billion bill against credit checker Experian. The credit firm is being sued in a landmark High Court case that could see millions claim from a damages fund.

The company holds information on some 46million individuals – it is now accused of mis-selling data and building potentially inaccurate profiles that could affect decisions on credit, the Mail on Sunday reports. On Friday, lawyer Liz Williams, who lives in north Dorset, filed a writ at the High Court for £750 (€865).

The action could potentially cripple the company – as it accuses Experian of collecting data on Brits from a range of sources, including online questionnaires and website-tracking cookies- the data collected is then allegedly sold on for commercial gain.

It was last October that the Information Commissioner’s Office found Experian was selling data onto third parties – including political groups – without their consent. The organisation imposed a £20 (€23) million fine, although Experian is appealing. According to the writ filed by Ms Williams, the firm’s “processing and profiling [of data] was neither fair nor transparent”, while the alleged selling of data was done without consent.

If she’s successful, every one of around 46m people in England and Wales – 95 per cent of the adult population – whose personal data is held by Experian could be entitled to the same payment.

It would take potential damages to £34.5 (€39.8)bn. Companies and even political parties use Experian’s data to check credit-worthiness, market certain products or target them with messaging. Ms Williams, an IT company director, answered an appeal for potential claimants to come forward as a representative for the case brought by law firm Harcus Parker.

She said: “I didn’t realise my [Experian] report contained information that gave away the game on what I was doing online and elsewhere, and was being sold on. I had left plenty of tracks even though I never consent to cookies and never consent to sharing information. We need the legal levers to impose a penalty on bad behaviour.”

A profile rates how likely a person is to gamble online, which supermarket they may use or newspaper they read- the rating is also affected by a person’s postcode.

It means an area’s wealth or attributes – including the health of locals of how well schools do – alter scores. It is feared the profiles, which can be inaccurate, are being sold on to deny people credit.

Ed Parkes, of Harcus Parker, said: “We hope this case will deter future disrespect of laws on personal data.” Experian however, said: “We disagree with the ICO’s view and we are appealing. We do not believe there are any reasonable grounds for bringing this case.”

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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