Personal data about you is held by all the major political parties. They harvest it, process it on an industrial scale and use it to target individuals across all regions of the UK. Before the Dec election has kicked off, The Information Commissioner’s Office has warned all political parties, they need the explicit consent of all voters to profile them and process their data fairly and transparently.
In mid Oct 2019, Rowland Manthorpe published the fact – The Liberal Democrats are using software which estimates the age and first language of voters by analysing their names.
In Nov 2018 the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) were concerned enough to issue formal notices to eleven political parties (Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems, Greens, SNP, Plaid Cymru, DUP, Ulster Unionists, Social Democrat, Sinn Féin and UKIP) regarding their processing of personal data because they were: assuming ethnicity and/or age and combining this with electoral data sets they hold. They to raised concerns about data accuracy; a lack of fair processing information; the use of third-party data analytics companies with insufficient checks that those companies have obtained correct consents for use of data for that purpose, and more.
All Political parties have been warned by the ICO that they cannot use “behind-the-scenes profiling” to target voters without their explicit consent in the Dec 2019 election. An ICO spokesperson said: “People can only make truly informed choices about who to vote for if they are sure those decisions have not been unduly influenced by behind-the-scenes use of algorithms, analysis, data matching and profiling. We are consulting on a framework that will clarify how personal data can be used in political campaigning to ensure it is used fairly, legally and transparently.”
Rowland Manthorpe’s article proves beyond all reasonable doubt the Lib Dems continue to use software which estimates the age and first language of voters by analysing their names, even though this raises serious concerns for the ICO about data accuracy and a lack of fair processing among other things.
We ask all the general election candidates who are standing in the Folkestone & Hythe District the following questions:
Where have your parties got the information from to profile residents?
What data have your parties used to profile residents?
How have your parties processed residents data?
With regards you parties transparency obligations regarding profiling, will you make it easily accessible for the residents and ensure it is brought to their attention?
We suspect this will fall on death ears and that MP’s sitting, and hoping for a seat, will ignore this reasonable call, thus ensuring their failure to be transparent about their privacy policies..
The Shepwayvox Team
Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful