Folkestone & Hythe District Council’s website does not adhere to GDPR on consent

It doesn’t surprise us, and by now it should NOT surprise you either.

An investigation by the BBC Shared Data Unit proves beyond all reasonable doubt that Folkestone & Hythe District Council website (along with many other council websites too), is clearly in breach of the General Data Protect Regulations (GDPR).

But it doesn’t just stop there. The Council’s website has advertising cookies – small text files that track people on the internet – embedded in the council home page and its benefits pages, yet doesn’t allow you to opt-out, nor does it collect your consent to allow these cookies. This it must do by law.

(The data can be download at the end of this blog post)

Suffice to say the Council is not just content with passing off fake press releases or allowing senior management with a dodgy history to manage a £100 million pounds, No! It now wants to track your every move while sharing advertising cookies you probably don’t want and certainly have NOT consented to.

In October 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that a pre-ticked consent box is not a sufficient degree of consent – instead, “active consent” is needed.  A pre-ticked consent box is what Folkestone & Hythe District Council continues to use five months after the law changed, as do Shepway Green party – which is hardly transparent or compliant with the law.

Screenshot from 2020-02-08 08-46-18

The Cabinet Member responsible for the website is Cllr David Monk. The officers responsible are:

  • Tim Madden responsible for Digital Transformation. He earns £116K plus.

  • Amandeep Khroud – Monitoring Officer,  responsible for ensuring compliance with the law.  She earns £100K

What this proves is that incompetence is well rewarded at our Council.

Tim Madden 2 David Monk Amandeep Khroud 2

The Company responsible for transforming the Council’s website is Arcus Global. Back in Oct 2018, they were awarded a £1.6 million pound contract. It’s clear they have little if any understanding of GDPR compliance. Nor do they appear to have any real knowledge of consent compliance and advertising cookies, because if they did they wouldn’t allow them on the Council’s website.

Screenshot from 2020-02-08 09-16-21

Although Folkestone & Hythe District Council is not the worst offender by a long shot. The fact is, it demonstrates those responsible do not understand this area of law and compliance. For these failings, the Council must once again report itself to the ICO for non-compliance and breaching your rights.

Meanwhile Arcus Global continues to receive a large monthly paycheck according to the payment to supplier’s data, even though it doesn’t appear to know what it is doing.  Senior Council officers responsible for compliance and digital transformation are allowing dodgy advertising cookies use of the Council’s website to track residents of the district unlawfully and doing nothing to prevent it.

It is self-evident that the Peter Principle – which observes that people in a hierarchy tend to rise to their “level of incompetence”, is alive and well at the Council, as is the cognitive bias of Tim Madden & Amandeep Khroud who appear to believe their cognitive ability is greater than it is.

For the full dataset – click here

The Shepwayvox Team

Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful



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2 Comments on Folkestone & Hythe District Council’s website does not adhere to GDPR on consent

  1. doggerbank56 // February 11, 2020 at 16:18 // Reply

    I am not in the least bit surprised by this latest revelation. What it highlights yet again is the dysfunctional culture pervading the Council activities at all levels. It would appear that both accountability and responsibility are conspicuous by their absence.

    If Council employees/ex-employees consider this to be an unfair characterisation of existing Councillors/senior managers I would be very interested to read their observations about working for Folkestone & Hythe District Council.

    If the website breaches are not corrected within the next month you might want to send a copy of this blog post to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) while at the same time informing the Chief Executive of the level of fines that the ICO can now impose on errant organisations and individuals.

  2. REady to explode // February 11, 2020 at 21:49 // Reply

    Drowning??? No, wallowing in it, celebrating it, dining out on it, exploiting it, making a mint out of it by continuing to rent out his flats to unsuspecting punters who don’t know they are conniving in a fraud: that revenue should be paying his tax bills and his neighbours service charges. He is a copper-bottomed thief and liar.

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