The General Election and personal data

The ICO has published some topical and interesting information around personal data and the general election, in a blog entitled The General Election and my personal data. Although it is aimed at the General Election specifically, it is a useful reminder for businesses to make sure that they are collecting and processing personal data correctly.

John Edwards, the Information Commissioner has written to political parties reminding them of their data protection obligations, and of course, parties should remember their wider legal obligations (such as the Conservative candidate Robert Largan who The Telegraph reports has been engaging in a campaign of pretending to be running for other political parties as well as his own).

The ICO guidance makes it clear that individuals should expect parties to be clear and upfront about what data is being collected, and what of that data is being used for profiling or social media targeting. 

Political parties must follow direct marketing rules when campaigning, and it should be noted that there are additional electoral rules that parties must comply with, including detailing when a political party, candidate or referendum campaigner has the right to send a single election or referendum mailing by Freepost. This specific right applies even where an individual has asked the organisation not to contact them, but “post that is unaddressed or addressed simply to ‘the occupier’ is not covered under these rules”.

Posted on 06/05/2024 by Ortolan

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