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Disclosure – Although I was compensated for my time in writing this article, I have registered my interest with Bott and Co.
As a parent I am horrified by this new data breach that has emerged recently. The parenting club Bounty have recently been fined £400,000 one of the largest fines possible for sharing your data. They have shared our data with marketing agencies without our permission.
Bounty have illegally breached approximately 34.4 million data records belonging to 14 million people in recent years.
Did you get a mums to be package from Asda? With lots of samples and vouchers? Yes I did too. In fact I loved it, and remember thinking at the time how generous they were and what a great thing to do. Well now I know why. They sold our data records to companies such as Indicia (a marketing agency) and Sky (a telecommunications company). The data included children’s date of birth, pregnancy status and postal and email addresses.
This is especially shocking due to the nature of the company. Bounty, a parenting and pregnancy group, have sold our data.
What did Bounty actually do?
The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) said that until April 2018, Bounty supplied their members details to marketing companies.
Bounty collected the data via membership registrations through its website, mobile app, merchandise pack claim cards and directly from new mothers at hospital bedsides. Can you believe it! At a time when we are so vulnerable, Bounty were thinking of ways to line their own pockets!
The information Bounty sold was:
- Member’s name, date of birth, postal address and email address. This in turn means they had the address of your child also!
- Expected due date.
- Whether they were a first-time mum.
- Child’s gender and date of birth.
Bounty’s actions appear to have been motivated by financial gain. As data sharing was an integral part of their business model at the time.
Can I get compensation from Bounty?
Bott and Co, the leading consumer law firm in the UK is starting a group legal claim against Bounty. To be successful, they need people to sign up and tell them how we have been affected.
Bott and Co would like to seek monetary compensation for any parents or parents-to-be involved . To register your interest, you can use the sign up form here – https://www.bottonline.co.uk/consumer-claims/bounty-data-breach-claims/claim-form
They are working on a no win, no fee basis. This is a consumer rights issue that they feel very passionately about. Bott and Co have a gold star rated feefo and get 4.75 out of 5 stars from over 8,000 reviewers.
Bott and Co have a number of website links on the subject:
Is Bounty still running?
Yes, absolutely! You can still also get their free mum to be pack. Now as I love a freebie, if I am honest I would still get this. However, I would certainly not give them permission to sell my data to third parties.
In a statement, Jim Kelleher, Bounty’s managing director, admitted fault, but did not apologise for the company’s actions.
“In the past we did not take a broad enough view of our responsibilities and as a result our data-sharing processes, specifically with regards to transparency, were not robust enough. This was not of the standard expected of us. However, the ICO has recognised that these are historical issues. Our priority is to continue to provide a valuable service for new parents that is both helpful and trusted.”
If you are a parent to older children you might enjoy reading my previous post on educational online resources.