ICO to probe Klarna over marketing email blunder

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The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched an investigation into Klarna after receiving complaints that the company was sending marketing emails to people who had never used the service.

The UK Data Protection Agency told IT Pro that “some members of the public” have drawn attention to a marketing email that Klarna says was “incorrectly” sent.

A number of people have reported on Twitter that they have received confirmation of the error from the Swedish fintech firm.

“We are very sorry,” was the message. “You may have just received our newsletter without waiting for it. The email was sent incorrectly and you shouldn’t have received it. We apologize for the inconvenience.” Please rest assured that you have not and will not be added to any marketing database. You will not receive any further marketing communications unless you log in or download our app at a later date. “However, many have questioned how Klarna had their email address in the first place. Some have suggested that the bug resulted in retail data being disclosed illegally.” A number of people (including myself) have a promo e – Received email from Klarna even though they never used the service … no explanation of where they got the data from, “one recipient of the email tweeted.” My guess is that retailers are passing on data that is certainly not ethical or GDPR compliant are?! “

A number of people (including myself) have received a promo email from Klarna despite never using the service. No explanation of where they got the data from. Presumably retailers are sharing data that is certainly not ethical or GDPR compliant. ! 🤷‍♀️ pic.twitter.com/ieYNgkEE11

– Alice Tapper (lAliceRTapper) October 12, 2020

The company has apologized in a blog post, but has not yet specifically disclosed how it can access non-user email addresses.

The company works with retailers like Asos and Topshop and offers technology services that allow consumers to pay for their goods within 30 days, or with a credit or debit card processed by Klarna software on behalf of the retailer. “The email was sent to Klarna consumers who have recently used any of Klarna’s products or services including Klarna checkout technology,” the company said. “Klarna’s checkout technology is a product that some retailers use to process payments on their website. This means that Klarna processes all credit and debit card transactions for these retailers.”

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