“Good Services” principle number 13: “A good service should respond to change quickly”
The key here is ‘respond to’. This is about reflecting relevant changes in the user and understanding the implications of those changes for the user.
A simple example: I’ve just had a call from my insurance broker. They wanted to speak to my husband about renewing his car insurance. He was insured with them, until he got rid of the car a couple of years ago. Somewhere that change has not been propagated through the system. Of course that doesn’t mean that they should never call him – he may have bought a new car since – but it would be a different, more appropriate call, that doesn’t start with “We see your renewal is coming up…”.
Automatic propagation isn’t always appropriate of course, so the best option might be to let the user notify a change then let them also specify where it should propagate to, perhaps with the least contentious options pre-checked to make the ‘usual route’ easier.
This could have an interesting side-effect of making people more conscious of where their data is held and for what purposes, putting them even more in control.