Knowledge And Information Essay

1711 words - 7 pages

This assignment will consider ways in which my personal information is used to identify me as a customer. To illustrate this I will present three examples of how I am identified from my personal life. I will then look at four different issues relating to the examples given and discuss what impact on my life these issues may have.

All companies have information held on file about their customers. There are lots of ways to store information but the main ways are on computer or paper files. Computers have the advantage of storing data more correctly than paper files as papers can get lost or muddled and untidy handwriting can be difficult to read. (Section 4, Topic 4) The type of information stored ranges from a persons name and address to fingerprints or DNA.

The DVLA hold information about me as a car owner. The details which they have are my name, address, date of birth and my photograph. This information is kept by them and they recognise me as their customer by the registration details of my car which are held on file also with my personal details.

My Bank also has information about me and this too is my name, address and date of birth, the bank holds this information and they recognise me by my account and password which I set up on the account when it was opened.

The Fertility Clinic holds similar information and as well as having my name, address and date of birth, they have my photograph and lots of information about my medical background. They keep all my details and they identify me by my hospital number.

One of the issues associated with companies recognising me by the data they have stored is somewhat concerning as the data is not unique to me. A person may have the same name and date of birth as me and this can be quite worrying. Imagine if this situation happened at a Fertility Clinic. My personal information may get mixed in with the other persons file with the same name as mine, and because the files which are held there are paper, this could quite easily happen (Section 2, Topic 2). The only way which this can be corrected would be to transfer all patients' files onto a computer system this way records would not get confused.

Although any photographs that companies have on file can be a reliable source of identifying someone, there is evidence that shows that they can be outdated quite rapidly. People's appearances can not always be concrete proof of identifying people
(Section 6, Topic 3). This is because today's society can change their hair colour and style, grow facial hair or even have facial surgery to alter their appearance.

Another concern is how to keep my personal records up to date with each of these companies. With the DVLA my records are only updated if I change my car, my address or get married and I have to contact the company via letter to confirm these changes. So I am not aware of any mistakes that they may have made whilst imputing my information on to their system, and the only way I can...

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