Wetherspoon to delete customer information to avoid hacks

7th Jul 2017

JD Wetherspoon has announced plans to delete all the customer email data it holds in an attempt to avoid hacks.

Several firms and public organisations have faced breaches in recent months, including the NHS and The AA.

Wetherspoon’s decision was announced in an email from chief executive John Hutson.

He said: “Many companies use email to promote themselves, but we don't want to take this approach – which many consider intrusive. 

“Our database of customers’ email addresses, including yours, will be deleted.”

The pub company will replace newsletter communication to customer with social media updates on Twitter and Facebook.

The chain suffered its own data breach in 2015, when 656,723 customers’ details were leaked. The info included their names, dates of birth, email addresses and phone numbers. A small number of customers also had the last four digits of their credit or debit card details taken, but the rest of the number was not stored on the database.

According to The Institute of Customer Service’s Customer of the Future report, cyber security has become a key concern for consumers.

It reports that as the threat to data becomes more significant, “security and defence bodies all over the world will invest significant resources to combat electronic threats, acknowledging that attacks on computer, communication and information systems, whether carried out by state or non-state actors, can cause severe damage and disruption.”

Speaking in the report Jo Causon, chief executive of The Institute, said: “In this complex, evolving environment, organisations will need to be more imaginative in how they collect, analyse and use data about customers, including their values, and their emotional and personality preferences. There will be opportunities to provide integrated, highly personalised services that transcend traditional sectors, but this will require unprecedented collaboration and innovative new partnerships.

“Earning customers’ trust will become more challenging and organisations will continuously need to find ways of demonstrating their trustworthiness, not just in managing customer data, but across the breadth of their operational activities and governance.”

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