United Kingdom data commissioner fines pro-Brexit groups

08 Novembre, 2018, 14:12 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Arron Banks the owner of Eldon Insurance was one of the key players during the referendum campaign

The UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has presented its report to Parliament into the invisible processing and misuse of personal data for political purposes-and it's not pulling any punches.

Appearing before MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee on Tuesday, Denham said that Facebook and other firms involved in the Cambridge Analytica data mining scandal had showed a "disturbing level of disrespect" for voters' personal data.

"We are investigating allegations that Eldon Insurance Services Limited [trading as GoSkippy] shared customer data obtained for insurance purposes with Leave.EU", the Information Commissioner's report said.

More than a million messages were also sent to Leave.EU subscribers marketing the insurance firm, which traded under the name GoSkippy.

Both Denham and her office's report indicated that the United Kingdom was at a cross-roads in terms of the use of data in political campaigning but warned that tighter regulation of tech firms was "quite controversial and the need to balance freedom of expression with the harms of the internet is hard", she told MPs.

The UK voted by 51.9% to 48.1% to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum.

According to the leaked extract, in one incident in September 2015 a Leave.EU newsletter was sent to more than 319,000 email addresses on Eldon's customer database.

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Denham's deputy, James Dipple-Johnstone, said the watchdog also had concerns about the use of data for electronic marketing at Vote Leave, the official pro-Brexit campaign group led by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove.

Leave.EU also faces a £15,000 fine for a separate "serious" breach after emails were sent to Eldon customers containing a newsletter for the Brexit campaign group. In May 2018 Leave.EU was fined £70,000 for breaching electoral spending limits; and Banks and Leave.EU have separately been referred to the National Crime Agency by the Electoral Commission, with the commission expressing its suspicion that Banks was not the "true source" of Leave.EU's funding and that the money had come from "impermissible sources".

"Clearly due process is lost on these regulators - it's just another attempt by Collins and his corrupt, biased fake news committee to attack Arron Banks and Brexit".

'We will be requesting all correspondence under FOI (Freedom of Information) from Collins to see what collusion (there was) between his committee and the ICO.

Eldon said in a statement: "It should be noted that the ICO makes it clear in the notice of intent that they do not consider Eldon to have deliberately committed any contravention of the relevant regulations".

'The notice of intent is not a final notice and we will be exercising our right to make representations to the ICO in relation to the content of and the decisions that the ICO intend to make in the notice of intent'.

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