Political Parties: Data Protection

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 14th October 2020.

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Photo of Jack Brereton Jack Brereton Conservative, Stoke-on-Trent South

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to page 54 of the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) report of 6 November 2018 entitled Investigation into the use of data analytics in political campaigns, what the status is of the ICO's investigation into the (a) Liberal Democrats' sale of electoral data to Open Britain and (b) use of personal data by the Remain side of the EU referendum campaign.

Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale Minister of State

The ICO took advice from the Electoral Commission on the matter of the Liberal Democrats. As a result this case was referred to the Metropolitan Police on 26 October 2018 as the issues fell outside the jurisdiction of the ICO. The Metropolitan Police later confirmed that they were unable to consider the matter any further.

The ICO’s wider investigations of several organisations on both the remain and the leave side of the UK’s referendum about membership of the EU has now concluded. The ICO identified no significant breaches of the privacy and electronic marketing regulations and data protection legislation that met the threshold for formal regulatory action. Where an organisation has continued in operation, the ICO has provided advice and guidance to support better future compliance with the rules.

The ICO will shortly publish a report of audits on the main political parties.

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