Hacker holding lock and key

Are iGaming Companies Misusing Customer Data?

Protecting customer data should be a must for all iGaming companies – but are they doing enough in this crucial area?

Many iGaming companies are already using big data to gather visitor behavior that can be used for all manner of purposes. But there has been a string of incidents in which iGaming companies have misused data.

Indeed, an investigation by UK newspaper the Sunday Times earlier in the year found that data from the Department for Education had found its way into the hands of betting companies.

This is far from the only high-profile example where this has happened in recent years.

Zynga the subject of a major hacking attack

It is not too long ago that Zynga was a rising star in the world of iGaming, but a massive hack destroyed the reputation of the company in September 2019.

Some 218 million user accounts were compromised as a result of the attack, with information from Draw Something and Words with Friends players lost in the incident.

It was a Pakistani hacker by the name of Gnosticplayers who took credit for the attack, which saw Zynga accounts and user IDs for Facebook stolen. Additionally, phone numbers and email addresses were also accessed during the hack of Zynga.

A few months after that hack, to which Zynga admitted, it was announced that a potential class action lawsuit was being launched against the company as a result.

Games such as FarmVille, Cafe World, Mafia Wars and Zynga Poker are likely to have seen a drop in popularity as a result of Zynga’s reputation being hit by the incident.

Zynga is not the only iGaming company to have suffered losses over customer data, however.

Evolution of iGaming poses fresh challenges

Even as iGaming companies become attuned to what needs to be done to avoid misusing customer data, new developments in the industry are producing different challenges.

Online casinos have enjoyed a boom in popularity during the course of 2020 as a result of the coronavirus crisis, giving sites even more customer data that they need to look after.

While online casinos have typically used methods such as ID checks to verify who their customers are, safety and security works both ways for gambling via the internet.

Customers have to feel as if the data they share with their favorite online casinos is not going to fall into the wrong hands.

With online casinos often targeted by hackers as a result of the important financial and personal information they hold on their customers, it means data has to be kept extremely safe.

While bricks and mortar casinos may be able to use technology such as facial recognition to see who is using their facilities, this is not necessarily going to be the case for online sites.

Some casino customers may opt to take matters into their own hands. Through using a more secure payment method such as a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, players can make sure they do not need to share any of the usual financial information with the casino they use for gambling.

Transparency a must for online casinos

In order for online casinos to earn the trust of users and potential customers, it is increasingly important they are transparent about how they protect data.

While some users will take it for granted that their data is going to be safe at an online casino, this is not always the case. As a result, information on how customer data is protected should be displayed clearly by an online casino site.

The company’s security policy should really have its own section of the site, even if the majority of people who use an online casino may be uninterested in such matters.

As an example, it should be clearly stated whether or not 128- or 256-bit SSL encryption is used by an online casino site. This is one of the key ways in which online casinos try to make sure that the data of their customers is kept safe.

The best online casinos for security are also likely to display a seal of verification, which can provide an extra level of reassurance for people considering signing up for an account.

Customers should also make sure that they do not use the same passwords for an online casino that they do not other places such as their online bank account.

There is no doubt some iGaming companies may be misusing customer data, so this is not an issue that is going to be going away any time soon.

 

Staff Writer at CPO Magazine