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Code of Conduct

PRINCIPLES
BIIA members are business information agencies. As such we are neutral suppliers of information. We support the financial, economic and commercial decisions made by industry, insurance, trade and commerce, credit businesses etc, about companies and other businesses. (Some BIIA members supply information on private individuals).

We promote and support the industry by providing information for business decisions. The information is collected to create or update a record which is in turn disclosed to subscribers of business information agencies.

We recognise the importance of our activities with regard to the basic rights of the data subject concerned on informational self-determination. We collect and use such data fairly and lawfully in accordance with the relevant data protection and privacy laws.

In particular, we take all reasonable steps to ensure that such data is accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date. Business information should be updated according to the circumstances of each case in order to give a true and correct picture of the subject business by reference – where appropriate – to a stated date.

We shall therefore

  • Take account of any interests of the data subject and the interests of the data recipient
  • Respect the confidentiality of sources providing data
  • Take appropriate measures to protect personal data against unauthorised alteration, disclosure or access and against unlawful forms of use
  • Respect and employ principles of transparency in our activities
  • Correct, suppress or delete incorrect or irrelevant data at the request of the concerned party (after completing all the necessary double-checking to ensure the accuracy of the changes asked) or independently when inaccuracy or irrelevance is noticed

Data Collection

We collect data by using generally accessible and public sources (ie. public registers, published balance-sheets, official gazettes, newspapers) and by written or oral questioning of the commercial data subject. For commercial data subjects questioning of relevant third parties may take place to confirm or complete the information held. Verification processes and quality programs are employed to maintain data quality. Where such third parties provide data on a confidential basis, we shall respect this confidentiality.

Transparency of the Activities

In different countries transparency of data use is ensured under local laws either by pro-active or re-active requirements. These may include the obligation to inform data subjects of the storage of their data and to make it possible for them to obtain information about its type, extent and main purpose of use.

Data Security

We shall implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to protect personal data against accidental or unlawful destruction, accidental loss, unauthorised alteration, disclosure or access and all other unlawful forms of processing. Such measures shall ensure a level of security appropriate to the risks represented by the processing and the nature of the data to be protected. We shall ensure that our employees understand their obligation to maintain the security and confidentiality of data and that they accept appropriate confidentiality measures.

Data Compliance Officer

Every BIIA member is required to appoint a data compliance officer (who may be an employee or an external person) to ensure compliance with this code of conduct within the member company. This data compliance officer will deal with any complaints.

Compliance Committee

BIIA has appointed a compliance committee to ensure compliance by its members with this code of conduct. Any data subject, data recipient of BIIA members shall be entitled to complain in writing to the compliance committee about a breach of this code of conduct.

The committee shall give its written opinion about the complaint within two months of receiving the complaint. The committee shall have power to take appropriate actions against any BIIA member whom it decides has breached this code of conduct. Such action may include formal reprimand or exclusion from BIIA.

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