Klarna is set to be investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) after sending marketing emails to scores of addresses it should not have had access to.
Angry customers took to social media yesterday to question Klarna after they received its newsletter despite never having dealt with the company.
One user said she received the promo email “despite never having used the service..no explanation as to where they got the data from”.
The Swedish payments giant sent a follow-up email to apologise to customers who “should not” have received the email, assuring them that they had not been added to its marketing database.
— Robyn Vinter (@RobynVinter) October 12, 2020
The ICO is now investigating how Klarna came into possession of these email addresses and whether it breached GDPR rules in doing so.
“Businesses should only contact individuals for electronic marketing purposes where consent has been provided or, in limited circumstances, where they have an existing relationship with a customer,” an ICO spokesperson told the BBC.
“Some members of the public have made us aware of an email sent by Klarna and we will be making enquiries.”
In response to the accusations, Klarna added: “Whenever anyone uses Klarna’s checkout technology they agree to the terms and conditions and our privacy notice, which allows Klarna to promote its products and services to them.
“Consumers normally do not receive newsletters unless they have opted in or downloaded our app.
“We are currently investigating how this happened, and will take all necessary action to ensure nothing like this can happen again in the future.”
Sooo whos reporting this massive breach of GDPR from @AskKlarna @Klarna to the ICO because I most definitely have never used them or opt’d into a mailing list for them. Who are you buying our details from Klarna 🧐 pic.twitter.com/0dm8CIjR02
— Charlotte Musha 🌱 (@Charlotte_Musha) October 12, 2020
It comes just weeks after H&M was fined €35 million for breaching GDPR rules, the largest fine ever issued under the newly instated legislation.
This is the latest major customer backlash Klarna has faced in under a month, following a disastrous Xbox Series X pre-order “debacle”.
Customers complained that their credit scores had been negatively affected by Klarna performing credit checks after attempting to use its service to secure an Xbox pre-order.