Bounty parenting club fined £400K by ICO

Mark Johnson's picture
by Mark Johnson

British pregnancy and parenting club, Bounty, has been fined £400,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office for illegally sharing the personal information of more than 14 million people.

The ICO said the penalty was being issued because of a “serious contravention of the first data protection principle”.

Unprecedented case

In what the UK’s information regulator called an "unprecedented" case, Bounty compiled personal data of parents and children but failed to inform them that their details were then being shared with 39 other organisations.

Moreover the regulator noted that the information shared was of “potentially vulnerable” people including new mothers and children.

"We acknowledge the ICO’s findings – in the past we did not take a broad enough view of our responsibilities and as a result our data-sharing processes, specifically with regards to transparency, were not robust enough” said Bounty Managing Director, Jim Kelleher. “This was not of the standard expected of us. “

Bounty has also released a video explaining how it plans to protect its users in future.

Bounty's promise: Club vows to be more responsible in data use

The parenting club said that the ICO had recognised that these were historical issues, and that it was making significant changes to its process. This includes reducing the number of personal records it retains, how long they are kept for and implementing “robust GDPR training” for its staff.

Bounty was set up in 1959 as a guide to help new mums deal with pregnancy and new borns. It also offers a range of products to help with parenting. It has grown into a popular website and app-based business with more than 300,000 followers on Facebook and 39,000 Twitter followers.

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