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Banks “serious breach” of data protection laws

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) in Ireland plans to check the country’s banks for problems related to misreported loan repayments after what it termed a “serious breach” of data protection laws by Allied Irish Bank (AIB), according to press reports.

Deputy Data Commissioner Gary Davis was speaking in an interview with national broadcaster RTÉ this morning. AIB had reported missed weekly or fortnightly repayments by about 12,000 of its customers to the Irish Credit Bureau as missed monthly repayments, making their credit histories appear worse than they should have been.

The errors, which occurred over a six-year period leading up to July 2012, were reported to the Data Protection Commissioner when it was identified in May, according to the bank.

Davis told RTÉ that the bank had supplied “inaccurate personal data”, in breach of the country’s data protection laws, to the ICB. The ICB is the body that gathers the information lenders use to decide whether or not to lend money to customers. As a result, Davis said, those customers may have been unfairly turned down for credit.

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