Santander, which is a bank and not a popular beat combo from the 1970s famous for its “Rosanna” single, has told users that it will start tracking them to prevent fraud. There appears to be no opt out.
Users were greeted with a notice telling them that from July 1 as part of a move to prevent and detect fraud, the bank is going to start using location and other data from customers mobile phones and tablets. “For example, we may check if you’re in the country where your payments are being made in instances where we suspect fraud on your account. We will not use this information for any other purpose,” the bank said.
The simple example given sounds quite reasonable on the surface, but there is a slight problem with this. Do you really want your bank to track your movements?
Normally things like this end up being the thin end of the wedge and besides, what other data can the bank find interesting on your phone?
If banks collect and store that data, then it is also likely that the spooks and law enforcement can collect it. They will know if you have headed off to Bolivia because they will see you checking your bank account from there.
The fear is that the banks will just create another database that the government can mine to find out details of its users.