CBA plans to build privacy technologies into its products

The bank is looking into how it can enable customers to control their privacy settings when using mobile banking apps

Customer demand for secure mobile banking has led the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) to start investigating the development of privacy technologies to be built into its products and services.

Speaking at the launch of Privacy Awareness Week in Sydney, CBA enterprise privacy, identity and cyber executive general manager Gary Blair told delegates that the technologies would help customers to control their own privacy settings when using mobile banking apps such as Kaching.

“As we move forward in this privacy domain, we will see a lot more discussion about enabling the true owners of the data to have as much control over that data as possible,” he said.

For example, the bank was exploring what he called the “right to be forgotten” where if customers leave the bank, they can request that certain information is deleted.

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According to Blair, 60 per cent of all of its projects now have a privacy impact assessment (PIA) performed.

For example, an extensive PIA was done by the bank before it developed Kaching for use on Facebook in March 2013 due to concerns about privacy and security on the social networking site.

“In our normal methodology we go through a process where we apply security architecture and design patterns,” Blair said. “This is to ensure that we are building security and privacy into the platforms from the outset rather than bolting it on as an afterthought.”

He added that securing customer data was paramount for the bank due to the steady rise in online transactions. Data from CBA showed that as of December 2012, more than 60 per cent of all online transactions are conducted via mobile devices in Australia.

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