In anticipation of the implementation of the EU’s GDPR in May 2018, it has been necessary for Tungsten Network to conduct an intensive review of the customer data we have saved and the processes by which we obtain such data. Tungsten Network is highly committed to maintaining high standards of information security, privacy and transparency globally, whether as a data controller or data processor.
Following this review, we initiated a programme of work to ensure that all of our policies and processes, whether inside or outside the EU, adhere to the new regulation. We take our responsibilities in relation to the protection and security of our data and that of our employees, customers, vendors and partners incredibly seriously and the changes being introduced to ensure GDPR compliance are part of a continuous, ongoing process that has always been central to what we do.
Part of this programme of work is to review and cleanse all of our customer account information. We have hundreds of thousands of customers globally, many of whom have never updated their account information. It is not unusual for trading entities to change their details or for contact information to change and we have identified many cases where we know for a fact that some of the data we hold in inaccurate or outdated.
It is essential that the customer data we store on file is accurate and up-to-date for a number of reasons, including:
- Ensuring that customers are using the correct legal information when sending invoices
- Preventing the creation of fake accounts
- Preventing the creation of duplicate accounts, whether fraudulently or in error
- Enabling us to communicate more effectively with our customers
Bureau van Dijk Registration Numbers
In order to verify the customer data that we store within our database, we have decided to verify each customer against a third party database called Bureau van Dijk (BvD), which has information on over 300 million companies worldwide.
All customer data has been matched against the BvD database, each returning one of three possible results:
- 100% company match
- Possible company match
- No company match
In order to ensure a 100% company match when there are possible matches, we have developed an application within the Tungsten Network portal called “Supplier Self-Service Data Cleanse” (SSSDC). When customers log in to the portal, the application asks that they confirm who they are by selecting from a list of companies provided by BvD.
There is no need for customers to register with BvD. They simply need to identify their existing BvD registration number and inform us of it. From there, Tungsten Network can verify our records against the BvD database.
In addition to this, we have been using a tool called Briteverify to verify the contact information we hold for each customer account. The tool allows us to identify whether or not the email addresses we have on record are valid.
Progress and Next Steps
Many of our customer accounts have been successfully linked to a BvD registration number. For these customers no further action is required we simply would like the customer to verify the information themselves in the SSSDC app.
Where company or contact information is still uncertain we are contacting the customers via email and phone in order to verify or confirm their information.
There are a small number of cases where customers are not accurately listed in the BvD, or in some cases not listed at all. Tungsten Network will be reaching out to these customers via email and phone to confirm their company information.
Throughout this process, we will update the customer information in order to ensure that all data points are accurate and up-to-date. Account information includes contact details, email addresses, VAT registration numbers and telephone numbers.
Should you have further questions relating to these activities, please do not hesitate to contact us through your Customer Relationship Manager.