The loyalty card company Pins Finland told its customers earlier this week that they will transfer their personal data to the Latvian company Loyalty Services, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the airline Air Baltic.

According to a reader who contacted Ilta-Sanomat, the announcement did not arrive until Tuesday, May 19, when the message was also the last day to object to the transfer of his information. However, Pins later gave its customers extra time to oppose the transfer and terminate the membership until June 18th.

Air Baltic informs Ilta-Sanomat by e-mail that the Pins program is popular in Finland and has about 1.2 million members here. The company acknowledges that there could be room for improvement in its customer communications in this case.

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- Although we were proactive about our intentions and offered transparency to our customers, we agree that some customers may have understood the original letter differently. That’s why we sent an updated notice yesterday (Thursday) extending the transfer date, emphasizing that members can terminate their membership at any time, Air Baltic’s English response states.

Loyalty Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Air Baltic.

Photo: Handout

The company confirms that it has acted in accordance with the principles of good governance and that it has notified customers in advance.

- Customers have a right to their personal data under the EU's general data protection regulation, and we fully respect that. Members can terminate their membership at any time - before or after the transfer. The deadline set was the date of the transfer and served mainly as an indication of when the data would be lawfully transferred.

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- We took steps to ensure that the transfer complied with the general data protection regulation. Notifying the customers affected by the transfer was also one of these steps. The General Privacy Regulation does not prohibit business transfers. If such a restriction existed, no merger / acquisition and no reorganization of any company or group of companies would be possible.

According to Air Baltic, personal data was transferred within the companies of the Pins Group in order to manage the program more efficiently. Loyalty Services runs the Latvian Pins program, and the terms of the service remain the same despite the transfer.