The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) on Tuesday completed a revision to limit insurance companies’ use of personal information collected from the public to five years to improve the protection of personal data.
The revision is to take effect in 60 days if there are no objections from the public, the commission said.
People usually give their personal information to insurance companies when filling out forms during insurance consultations, Insurance Bureau Deputy Director-General Thomas Y.H. Chang (張玉煇) told a news conference in New Taipei City.
“That raises the question: How long can insurers keep these forms?” Chang said, adding that some people have argued that insurers should not keep the data at all, since they are not their clients.
However, insurers tend to keep the forms to present them to the Financial Ombudsman Institution when people, especially those whose insurance applications have been rejected, file complaints with the institution, Chang said.
Regardless of the new regulation, insurers cannot abuse personal information and must keep them confidential in accordance with the Personal Information Protection Act (個人資料保護法), he said.
The commission has amended the regulations because they did not specify a time frame for insurers to keep personal information, Chang said, adding that insurance companies must erase the data after five years.
The time limit is in compliance with the Money Laundering Control Act (洗錢防制法), which requests financial institutions to keep their clients’ information for at least five years, Chang said.
As for clients who cancel their policies mid-term or whose insurance policies have terminated, insurers may keep their data for more than five years, as disputes might occur, he added.
However, banks are subject to different regulations and may not keep clients’ personal information for more than five years, or after clients close their credit card or personal bank accounts, Banking Bureau Deputy Director Wang Li-chun (王立群) told the news conference.
Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) yesterday said it keeps various kinds of personal data for different periods, but added that it would comply with the new regulations.
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