Getting a credit card is pretty difficult these days hence the spiralling out of control wongapayday.com shark lending that is going on.
Not that having a credit card is something to be smug about. Today I have learned using my BarclayCard means spraying the world every detail of my transactions to anyone prepared to buy it. Unless I opt out of course.
When you sign a contract, you sign up to the terms and conditions of that contract. If they change, there is usually a deed of amendment and both parties can agree or not to agree to the changes. Credit cards and most websites don't do that. Take Google - its business model is to spy and sell. They implicitly state if you are using their services, you adhere to its Terms and Conditions. You cannot opt out. Banks like this approach too and have been building up T&C's to enable them to sell your soul but in a more direct and pernicious way. But at least Google are being watched by the EU and are having to face up to the fact people are real - the banks appear to be getting away with it. So from tomorrow, Barclays will be able to
Obtain information about me from anyone using any means (hacking, ISP reengineering, GPS etc)
Learn how I use my account and pass this information onto people I don't know who can track my lifestyle habits
If I give Barclays information about someone else, Barclays assume I have got consent from that person
Check out my financial associates - whatever that means
Barclays will "keep information about you and how you manage your account(s) private and confidential, but may share it as follows ..."
The long list my information is spammed too includes CRAs, the shops I buy things from using my BarclayCard, any logo on the card (?), and the catch all "if we have a duty to do so..."
In the depths of the T&C is a phone number I can call to stop them spamming my personal info but as I learned when I called them this just meant I wouldn't get junk mail.
So what are the FSA or the Human Rights lobby doing about this?
I know what I am doing and that is paying in cash going forward.
Bobby Geezer joins Pandit in the no pay for being useless club (bbc)
Goldmans avoid the pay row (newstatesman)
IMF bolsters cash pot (reuters)
IMF to bail out the ECB.