ICO and FCA hold big data use forum

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and FCA have published a summary of their forum on the use of Big Data in retail general insurance. The forum, held on 16 January 2017, was to engage with the insurance industry following stakeholder concerns raised as part of FCA’s call for input, on which it published a feedback statement last September.

Key themes included:

  • discussing the importance of gaining consumer trust by helping consumers understand the potential value to them of sharing data and explaining how the data are being used;
  • the challenge of how best to inform consumers and get consent. The forum discussed the trade-off between being transparent, fully informing consumers and overwhelming them with information, and whether a legal duty of care to consumers may work better;
  • the interface between the ethics of data use and the letter of the law;
  • the difficulty of ensuring the accuracy of Big Data, the portability of data and ownership of different sources of data;
  • recognition that some uses of Big Data may be more palatable to consumers than others;
  • uncertainty around expectations on the GDPR;
  • use of social media for pricing, and the issue of consent;

The ICO is planning to issue an updated review of the Big Data and further guidance from the GDPR in the next few months.


Peter Given