Data ethics

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Over the years, ING has been transforming from traditional, bricks and mortar bank to a global, digital organisation. This shift is accelerated by the gathering, storage, analysis and use of vast quantities of data. While this represents incredible opportunities, it also presents challenges. Some of these challenges entail ethical dilemmas.

Data exploration and data modelling help us understand customer needs better and provide insights to improve service, better detect and prevent fraud, reduce risks and improve operational processes. But because our business is built on trust, we need to justify how we handle data.

To ensure we don’t abuse customer rights to privacy or autonomy, we need a consistent approach to Data Ethics and values on concepts like identity, ownership and reputation. This helps support our efforts to ensure that our actions, when innovating products or services while using data, are acceptable. Not just to regulators and customers, but to all of society.

To enable consistency across the organisation, we will apply the same data ethical values and guidelines to processing of all data while keeping in mind local context.

The following Data Ethics Values have been developed in this context and are based on the ING Values:

  • We are honest about the use of data
  • We are prudent when using data
  • We are responsible when using data

When confronted with a dilemma, our employees can always first go through the specifically designed ING dilemma model. If the dilemma remains, a follow up step can be to reach out to the relevant Data Ethics Council.

The Data Ethics Council is established to advise the organisation on existing and potential data ethics dilemma’s. It is intended to encourage ethical behaviour and help ensure that ING treats data ethical dilemmas as uniformly and consistently as possible.


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