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Data is at the heart of our business. We are entrusted with data on 1.4 billion people and 191 million businesses worldwide. This year we have developed our Global Data Principles and we will continue to embed this framework to guide how we manage and use data, build products and conduct our business around the world.
We are deeply aware of our responsibility to treat data – and those it belongs to – with care and respect. Living up to this responsibility is fundamental to securing the trust Experian depends on to exist, grow and create a better tomorrow. To do this, we protect the data we hold, use it fairly and make sure it’s as accurate as possible. We are open about the data we collect, how we use it and who we share it with. And we use data to increase financial inclusion and help people improve their financial lives. Our five Global Data Principles embody these key values (see below). They guide how we manage and use data, build products and conduct our business around the world. We developed the principles this year to better reflect our commitments to individuals, businesses, clients and the public, which have advanced as market demands and expectations have evolved. They build on the Global Information Values that previously guided our approach. We are in the process of embedding the new principles into relevant processes throughout the business.
Below is a brief overview of the approach we take to adhere to these five data principles, and more information on each can be found on pages 50-55 of our 2022 Annual Report.
The loss or inappropriate use of data and systems could result in material loss of business, substantial legal liability, regulatory enforcement actions and significant harm to our reputation.
Security comes first at Experian. We continually enhance our security infrastructure, practices and culture across the business. We invest heavily in cyber security and have specialist teams, state-of-the-art technology and rigorous due diligence procedures to deal with potential threats. Our security approach has three tiers: applying tools and processes to prevent threats from entering our environment; detecting if a threat enters our environment; and mitigating any threats by minimising the potential for information to be extracted from our environment.
Accurate credit reports enable lenders to give people fairer access to credit and essential services to improve their lives. Any inaccuracies in credit reports – and the data they are built on – can cause problems for consumers, and potentially deny them fair access to credit and services.
We understand how important this issue is for consumers, and place accuracy at the heart of our Global Data Principles, which guide our approach wherever we operate. Data accuracy principles are also being written into the data protection regulations of many countries in which we operate.
We will make data as accurate, complete and relevant as possible for the way it is used, always in compliance with legal requirements. We constantly strive to improve the accuracy of our data in a competitive market to ensure our clients can always rely on it to make the most appropriate decisions.
We have strict processes to ensure data accuracy – from designing a new data supply and sourcing accurate data in the first place, to monitoring and improving accuracy over time, and resolving any inaccuracies or queried information reported by consumers. Our focus is on the timeliness, accuracy and completeness of the data we hold, and the reports we provide to our clients.
We are committed to collecting and using data fairly and for legitimate purposes, and complying with regulations on data lifecycle and retention in the markets in which we operate. We carefully balance privacy expectations with the social and economic benefits derived from the responsible use of data for individuals, businesses and clients.
Our privacy policies vary in each country or region to comply with local regulatory requirements. Underlying these policies is our commitment to provide consumers with notice, choice and education about the use of personal information. Educated consumers are better equipped to be effective, successful participants in a world that increasingly relies on the exchange of information to deliver products and services efficiently.
Lenders need access to accurate information about people’s financial profiles from Experian or other credit bureaux. Such information is integral to an efficient and competitive credit ecosystem which provides innovative products that enable consumers to get the most out of their data, contributes to economic growth and supports a stable consumer banking system.
We strive to be open and transparent about the types of data we collect from consumers and third parties, where we get it, how it is used and where it is shared. Where appropriate we provide individuals with access to the data we collect about them, and the ability to correct, restrict and delete data.
Data transparency not only empowers consumers, it also benefits our business. For example, our marketing services are more effective for our clients when more people understand their ability to set their marketing preferences, as this means fewer people receive unwanted marketing that they would not be receptive to.
We enhance financial inclusion by using data to create insights that help lenders offer fairer access to credit to more people. Our aim is to help more people get better access to credit by sharing relevant data with lending organisations.
Read our for more on our use of data to improve financial inclusion and financial health.
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