Private Information An Issue for Online Gambling Operators

Published Friday, August 10, 2012 -

The EU Anti Money Laundering Directive requires gambling companies to retain all personal transaction and ID data for 6 years. Some critics are saying the online gambling companies are slack when it comes to destroying personal information but in the case of E.U. registered operators it is a requirement to keep this data.

The founder of Privacy International, Simon Davies has written a scathing article about the online gambling industry and has accused the industry of failing to adequately protect punter’s personal information. The writer also tries to say in the same breath that the firms involved in online gambling are exploiting lose laws and tax advantages offered by offshore jurisdictions such as Gibraltar, Malta, Jersey, the Isle of Man, Antigua and Barbuda, Guernsey, and others. "It is extremely difficult to close an online gambling account and, in my experience, impossible to have your data deleted." Davies said in his new blog. When Davies filed a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office in the UK, the file was terminated after only three months. The office claimed that the matter was not important and that the complaint did not warrant further action.

Scott McNealy, then chief executive of Sun Microsystems, achieved brief notoriety by saying: “There is no such thing as privacy on the internet. Get over it.” Since then, personal data has become a currency that consumers trade for services. Surrender your name, email address, date of birth, job title, education, location, photos, purchasing choices, holiday destinations, likes, and dislikes – and you can play with your acquaintances online. Viviane Reding, vice-president of the European Commission (EC) and EU Justice Commissioner, announced the overhaul of the EU’s Data Protection Directive on 22 January 2012, billing the move as “a fundamental reform of the common European rules that govern the free movement of personal data in Europe’s single market and the best possible protection of such data in the digital age”. Reding continued to say, “Only if consumers can trust that their data is well protected, will they continue to entrust businesses and authorities with it, buy online, and accept new services.”

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