Big Brother is sharing my information!

A friend if mine recently returned form Dubai after being out of the country for the last 4 years, so she had to re activate all her banking profiles again.

Things are a little simpler nowadays in as much as you can open a bank account online, which she did.

 However, they could not authenticate her online and she had to go into the bank itself.  At the bank, they scanned her fingerprints ( a very new concept to me as I have ever been asked for my fingerprint scan at the bank – but then I avoid banks like the plague).  Only to find that her fingerprints do not match those on the Home Affairs database of our country (South Africa).

As a result she had to go to the Home Affairs department with a letter from the bank and they had to take new finger prints and issue her with a new ID document.

At first I thought how clever.  But then on second thoughts I was a little pissed off.
What gives Home Affairs the right to share my information with banks or any other institution?  I understand the necessity of being on a national database from an identification point if view.  They issue me with an ID document which I present when required to the relevant institution.
I have serious issues with these institutions accessing my information without my permission though.
My ex said he thought that perhaps we gave blanket permission for the government database to be shared and perhaps when we opened a bank account we agreed for them to be able to verify our identity with the national government database.  But quite honestly I have a real problem with this.  How can  I give the government blanket permission to share my information?  And what right does the bank have to access this information when I have a government issued ID document which I present on request to those I choose to show it to.
I can understand having my information available to certain government institutions  where my safety is concerned.  But sharing my information with third party institutions certainly does not have my blessing.

Yes one could argue that it makes life simpler.  With all this information being shared and easily available, it is easier to verify or authenticate your identity, especially when opening up accounts etc.  But I want to choose when and how and with who my information is shared – and not blanket approval either.

As far as I am concerned, this also makes identity theft so much easier if non-government institutions can access my information.  The other question that comes to mind is how does the government actually verify that the bank has my approval to access the information in the first place – do they ask for signed proof perhaps?  It is all a little dodgy to me and does not have my blessing.

Let me know your thoughts on this.  The more I think about it, the more annoyed I am.

Lanthie Ransom

Don’t Piss Me Off!

I have a few pet peeves.  Some of the ones at the top of my list are (in no particular order)……

  • People who litter – This is the lowest you can go – really!  For F’sake put it in a trash can – how difficult can it be!
  • Banks – any bank / any department – I just generally have an issue with banks – and they have an issue with me clearly!
  • Call Center agents – Please don’t call me to ask for a donation or sell me something – I will be extremely rude and possibly insult you (the only time I ever insult anyone).

I have had 2 issues over the last 2 weeks with my bank – and just for reference, I bank with Standard Bank.  Probably won’t mean anything to most of you. 

Anyway, the FIRST issue is as follows:

I received a text message from my bank informing me that I am being handed over to attorneys for non payment of my Home Loan (Mortgage).  I ignore the first message.  Why?  Because I don’t have a home loan and it could be a hoax anyway.

I duly get another text message ….

So now I’m in a quandary – I’ve had issues before where I have ignored something from the bank and they end up going after you with more money than you can ever afford to fight them with.

Now bear in mind that they don’t phone me, I just get a text message!

So I take a deep breath and call them.
I wait for them to answer the call and I wait to be put through to the right person. 
They want my identification number.  Which I give them.
No, they have no record of having sent me a text message or any issues with any of my accounts.
So they ask for my mobile number to track the issue through that. 
So I give it to them. 
Ah the woman says – you must be Mrs XXXX. 
I reply that no, I am not Mrs XXXX (We’ve just had a conversation where I have given her my identification number and she has pulled up all my accounts and details – I only go by one name)
So after much debating, she finally agrees that this is my mobile number and apologizes and they will not send me any more text messages and she will leave a message on the system about our conversation.

I had this conversation on Monday – since then, I have had about 30 phone calls from the bank to my mobile all asking to speak to Mrs XXXX.
Not sure how to make it any clearer that I not Mrs XXXX and this is not her number – I have snarled it and shouted it – must be a hearing problem!

The SECOND issue:

I get a call yesterday from the card division informing me that my Mastercard is due for renewal in 2 months.

Okay – nice of them to let me know…..  and the conversation goes something like this:

Bank:  Where would your like your card delivered to?

Me: My home address please
Bank: Sorry but we cannot deliver it there
Me: Why?
Bank:  For security reasons
Me: What security reasons?
Bank:  We only deliver to the branches themselves
Me:  Um – surely it is safer to deliver into my hands than to a branch where 20 other people have access to it
Bank:  I don’t make the rules
Me:  I can go to 2 or 3 other banks who advertise the fact that they deliver your cards personally to you, so why do you not do this
Bank: I don’t know
Bank: So where would you like us to deliver the card
Me: To the XXX branch (where I opened my account and always transact from)
Bank: Sorry but that is not a full branch.  It is a satellite branch.
Me: So
Bank: So we can only deliver to a full branch
Me: So what was the point of asking me where to deliver my card to.  Why didn’t you just tell me where to fetch it from.
(I won’t expand on the rest of the conversation as I lost my cool)

Have you got any interesting banking stories you want to share?