The ethics of data collection... what would you do?

Wednesday 17 June, 2020
by Anonymous

Image of person walking in front of numbers

When it comes to data collection, businesses emphasise speed, efficiency and simplicity. Automation of processes can enable the transformation of outdated, manual processes and make it easier and quicker to complete work every day. It can remove duplication of work and increase productivity to help us better do our jobs. It can help us to stay on track and notify us of something we may have forgotten. It can help us to grow and accelerate as a business. 

There are, however, concerns over why and for what purpose data will be used. My banking customers will often ask me questions such as, what data is being collected? What will my data be used for? Why do you need to know this? What’s in it for me in providing this data? Is this like Big Brother?

I often find myself struggling to answer these questions. 

What would you do? 

  • What would you say to your customer who poses these questions?
  • What is your duty in this situation? To your organisation? To your customer?
  • Who are you most accountable to?

We encourage you to post your answers in the comments so we can create a healthy discussion, with the aim of learning from our peers, becoming aware of differing perspectives and challenging our own biases. 

If you would like to submit an ethical dilemma to feature in an upcoming weekly challenge please email: dilemma@thebfo.org - we are happy to post it anonymously. 

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The Oath

  • Trust is the foundation of my profession.
  • I will serve all interests in good faith.
  • I will compete with honour.
  • I will pursue my ends with ethical restraint.
  • I will help create a sustainable future.
  • I will help create a more just society.
  • I will speak out against wrongdoing and support others who do the same.
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My word is my bond.

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A banking and finance industry that meets the community’s needs and has its full confidence thereby fulfilling its integral role in society.