17 March 2014
MASS Chair Craig Budsworth responded to Aviva’s reported data breach saying:
“This particular instance of insurer release of customer data, as it has been reported, appears to have been a criminal act by individual Aviva employees. Firstly, it is a great pity Aviva seem to have initially brushed off complaints from their customers and assumed those customers’ detailed must have been disclosed by some other party rather than immediately investigating the possibility of a data breach on the part of their employees. Secondly, the very fact that the employees were able to steal customer data in this way over what appears to have been a prolonged period suggests some weakness in Aviva’s data security procedures. Thirdly, it reflects poorly on Aviva that they seek to blame the CMCs who may well have been the innocent victims of the criminal acts of their employees.
In general, MASS believes that cold-calling – and email or text spamming – is fundamentally wrong and must stop. MASS has called for greater co-operation and further action amongst the regulators with responsibility in this area, including tighter regulations over claims management companies. It is hoped that new laws introduced within the last 12 months will greatly help in stopping this type of activity to protect consumers from unwanted and nuisance calls by banning the receipt of referral fees and significantly reducing costs so that solicitors cannot afford to pay any compliant recommendation fee. Cold calling must also not be seen in isolation from other methods of incentivising poor behaviour, including third party capture/pre-medical offers by insurers and cash/gift incentives.
Whilst cold-calling related to accident claims continues to happen – and remains too high – it should be kept in context – according to Ofcom figures published in May 2013, accident claims account for 2% of nuisance calls, compared to 22% for PPI, 10% for energy, 10% for market research, 8% for insurance and even 3% for charities.”
For further information:
Craig Budsworth 07525 377475
Jane Loney 0117 925 9604 firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
MASS is a non-profit making national association of solicitors who specialise in road traffic accidents, representing the accident victim. Formed in 1991, MASS promotes the highest standards of legal services through education and representation in the pursuit of justice for the victims of road traffic accidents. MASS comprises 190 solicitor firms that employ over 2,000 legal staff, throughout the UK. Collectively member firms conduct in excess of 600,000 road traffic accident personal injury claims each year.
The victim, and what is in their best interests, must remain at the centre of the debate. Our goal in this debate is to both protect the rights and interests of consumers who are victims of genuine road traffic accidents as our constitutional objective.