Barclays to start selling customer details for the first time

Barclays bank has announced it would sell  customers' details to rival companies and government departments for the first time.

As a result, millions of Barclays savings consumers and current accounts would have "information about the transactions on your account" collected and shared.

The Telegraph, added the bank was also planning to start keeping track of customers through their mobile phones or other "devices" - to help protect them from fraud starting October this year.

So if a payment was made in a certain country, for instance, the lender would "ping" the customer's mobile number to check the customer concerned was there.

This could sound uncomfortably like Big Brother to many Barclays customers, but according to commentators the high street bank was hardly the only business to share more customer data, though.

Supermarket chain Tesco had been selling the customer data gathered via its Clubcard loyalty card scheme, which has been in operation since the 1990s, to food and drink companies for many years.

Also only a few days ago, mobile phone operators Vodafone, EE and O2 said they would start bundled sales of anonymised data on their customers to big advertisers to help them come up with targeted campaigns pitched at different age groups and demographics.

The move comes as civil liberties organisation Big Brother Watch announced details of a poll yesterday, showing three quarters of people around the globe were concerned about their online privacy.

The poll of more than 10,000 individuals from nine countries including the UK, German and France carried out by ComRe also found 41 per cent of people felt big companies were harming the interests of consumers gathering large amounts of personal data for internal use.

According to analysts, the decision by the bank was part of a growing trend of companies generating revenue through monitoring customer behaviour patterns, and then selling that information on to others.

The bank's decision was set out in new terms and conditions that had been sent to customers around the country and would take effect from the start of October, according to The Telegraph.

According to Barclays any customer data it sold would never be sold in a manner as to allow identification of individual customers.