EU regulators demand crackdown on big data

Regulators want new rules to monitor collection of financial info that could pose risks

Big data

The EU has called for a revision of the rules that monitor the growth of big data, including how it's used and collected, to ensure information that could pose security, privacy and accountability risks is protected.

Although Gabriel Bernardino, chairman of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) accepts big data analytics is reshaping business how we know it, regulators are concerned it could have a knock-on how potential customers are judged by firms.

"For example, consumers seeking household insurance for properties located in areas exposed to high risks such as floods, earthquakes or crime may have to pay very high premiums or might not be offered an insurance coverage," the EU banking, insurance and markets regulators said in a joint statement.

They launched a public consultation that will pool together the benefits and risks for customers when it comes to analysing the information companies hold about them.

Much of this data is collected from mobile phones, the internet and other sources (including businesses a customer has an existing relationship with), then analysed to suggest relevant products and services they should consider.

Although this big data is currently regulated as part of wider data protection rules including competition and consumer protection, there aren't any specific regulations that apply to the financial sector. The three financial regulators would, therefore, like financial firms and data providers work together more effectively to ensure the customer's best interests are considered.

"Big Data may lead to better and more informed decisions, more efficient processes and more appropriate services," the statement continued.

A report regarding how they think big data should be managed in the financial services industry will be revealed in 2017.

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