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I know a lot of MNers (and others) dislike Bounty...

(15 Posts)
havingtochangeusernameagain Fri 12-Apr-19 11:19:23

so thought you would be interested in this:

PanamaPattie Fri 12-Apr-19 11:23:50

I hope that this is the beginning of the end for Bounty.

RedToothBrush Fri 12-Apr-19 11:24:04

I was just about to come and post this.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined Bounty (UK) Limited £400,000 for illegally sharing personal information belonging to more than 14 million people.

An ICO investigation found that Bounty, a pregnancy and parenting club, collected personal information for the purpose of membership registration through its website and mobile app, merchandise pack claim cards and directly from new mothers at hospital bedsides.

But the company also operated as a data broking service until 30 April 2018, supplying data to third parties for the purpose of electronic direct marketing.

Bounty breached the Data Protection Act 1998 by sharing personal information with a number of organisations without being fully clear with people that it might do so.

The company shared approximately 34.4 million records between June 2017 and April 2018 with credit reference and marketing agencies, including Acxiom, Equifax, Indicia and Sky.

These organisations represented the four largest recipients out of a total of 39 organisations which Bounty confirmed it shared personal data with.

The personal information shared was not only of potentially vulnerable, new mothers or mothers-to-be but also of very young children, including the birth date and gender of a child.

Steve Eckersley, ICO’s Director of Investigations, said:

“The number of personal records and people affected in this case is unprecedented in the history of the ICO’s investigations into data broking industry and organisations linked to this.

“Bounty were not open or transparent to the millions of people that their personal data may be passed on to such large number of organisations. Any consent given by these people was clearly not informed. Bounty’s actions appear to have been motivated by financial gain, given that data sharing was an integral part of their business model at the time.

“Such careless data sharing is likely to have caused distress to many people, since they did not know that their personal information was being shared multiple times with so many organisations, including information about their pregnancy status and their children”

The investigation found that for online registrations, Bounty’s privacy notices had a reasonably clear description of the organisations they might share information with, but none of the four largest recipients were listed.

Additionally, none of the merchandise pack claim cards and offline registration methods had an opt-in for marketing purposes.


I'm very very pleased at this. And really rather confirms some of my concerns over this company.

GoFiguire Fri 12-Apr-19 11:25:56

Bounty bars are too coconutty. If you eat too many you get very fat

I prefer Hotel Chocolat truffles.

Stopandlook Fri 12-Apr-19 11:33:40


RedToothBrush Fri 12-Apr-19 14:19:42

(5) In the Commissioner's assessment, this disclosure went clearly against the terms of the privacy notices in place at the time. As subjects signed up to a parenting club it is considered highly unlikely that individuals would reasonably expect their personal data to be shared with credit referencing, marketing and profiling agencies, unless explicitly informed that it would be.

They shared data with Credit Referencing Agencies WITHOUT TELLING ANYONE THEY WERE DOING IT.

That means your credit could potentially have been affected cos you got 'a free pot of sudacream'.

(7) In representations made to the Commissioner, Bounty pointed to a lack of complaints about Bounty's processing of data in the circumstances described. Bounty also stated that only a tiny proportion of those registering 'online' went on to view the supplementary list linked to the Privacy Policy, suggesting that very few data subjects were concerned about the 'named list' and so (if any) detriment to those individuals would be minumal. Bounty relies upon a lack of any evidence of actual distress, stating this case is based upon an assumption of 'risk'. The Commissioner's view is that the above is demonstrative of the 'invisible' nature of the processing whereby individuals are unaware, either before or after, of the processing of their data in these circumstances. She considers that if individuals were aware of the processing of their personal data in these circumstances there would be a real likelihood of substantial damage or distress of the nature described above.

Apart from all the complaining that MNetters made about concerns over data protection.

SrSteveOskowski Fri 12-Apr-19 14:21:37

@Gofiguire, you're not the only one who opened this thread thinking it was about chocolate grin

Treaclesweet Fri 12-Apr-19 14:28:00

The strongest soaker-upper?

BottomleyPottsSpots2 Fri 12-Apr-19 14:32:21

I was hoping there'd be a thread on this.

They really are a despicable organisation!

ohfourfoxache Fri 12-Apr-19 14:48:49

I’m so pleased at this.

When ds1 was born the rep told me that if I signed up I’d get my child benefit claim form. Mercifully I wasn’t especially vulnerable and she was told in no uncertain terms to jog on. But to think of reps preying on women who have just given birth disgusts me.

RedToothBrush Fri 12-Apr-19 15:07:22

There is another thread in Feminism which has a bit more detail on and a couple of comments from MNHQ

I hope that this thread in AIBU gets plenty of interest too though as it's a really important issue about the exploitation of vulnerable women and children and the growing issue and awareness of data handling and its potential misuse.

Xenia Fri 12-Apr-19 17:09:53

The ICO may think people don't mind, but they do. Not everyone can be bothered to make complaints.

MotherofDinosaurs Fri 12-Apr-19 17:47:11

I've always thought it was absolutely ludicrous that a blatant crew of marketing bandits were allowed access to maternity wards.

MaitreKarlsson Fri 12-Apr-19 19:10:10

Really pleased about this smile Surprised it took the ICO so long

funkythighcollector Tue 21-May-19 13:04:02

There is a class action against Bounty if anyone wants to join

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