Four out of ten of the UK’s biggest online retailers fail basic customer friendliness tests when it comes to their privacy policies and don’t comply with new EU Data Protection legislation.
Household name companies including Boots, B&Q, BHS, Littlewoods, Next, John Lewis, Tesco, Waitrose, Wickes, and Virgin Atlantic failed to score more than 50% in a survey.
None of the etailers analysed had yet fully complied with new cookie law requirements that cookies should not be placed on customers’ computers without the customer’s consent. These laws come in to force in the UK in May 2012.
The survey also found that 98% are less than upfront about their use of the ‘behavioural targeting’ of online advertising and/or fail to present customers with the ability to opt out; three quarters of retailers opt customers in to receiving electronic marketing communications, with two thirds placing some obstacles in the way of customers changing this option;.
At the same time, 90% have inadequate processes for informing customers of changes to their policies, 75% fail to inform customers about how long the customer’s data will be held and 40% fail to mention about their customers’ right to access their data.
Ctrl-Shift strategy director Alan Mitchell, said fast changing technology, customer attitudes and regulations meant most retailers’ privacy policies are now in urgent need of an overhaul.