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Case Update

Exposed: Tory data scam

22nd January 2024

The Tories have launched an online tool that breaks privacy law. We’re launching a legal challenge to protect our data rights.

The Tories have launched an online tool they’re calling a “tax calculator”, saying they want to help people “find out how much you’ll save thanks to our NI cuts” – even though experts have found that other changes will see taxes continue to rise. But this “calculator”  looks more like a way for them to capture your data ahead of this year’s election.

There’s nothing wrong with political parties building up a bank of voter data. But it needs to be done without breaking the law.

This Tory data harvesting tool falls short.

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When you land on the page, the tool leaves cookies on your browser without your consent. They simply don’t ask for it – a clear breach of privacy and electronic communications rules.

The page links to a “Privacy Notice” and a “Privacy Policy”, but neither of these explains how the Tories plan to use the data collected through this site.

And to top it off, this whole approach falls foul of the guidance that the Information Commissioner’s Office has set out for the use of personal data in political campaigning.

You couldn’t make it up.

We think that keeping your data safe is important – but clearly the Tories don’t.  That is why we have instructed a leading specialist data rights law firm to take the first formal step in legal proceedings against the Conservative Party. The case focuses on how they are processing our Executive Director Jo Maugham’s data – but it is really about how they are processing all the data they collect through this tool.

We recognise that the Tories won’t be the only political party using data capture tools during the election, and we’re keeping our eyes peeled to make sure that when others do, they are data compliant too.

Anything you can give to support our work will help us shine a light on these shady campaigning schemes and put us all back in control of our democracy.

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This article is part of our General Election: Help us stop political parties misusing your data case

We’re all working on the assumption that Rishi Sunak will find the courage to call a General Election sometime this year. Political parties are keener than ever to speak directly to you – but they can’t get into your inbox or social media feed unless they can capture your personal data.  With trust in political processes at an all-time low, being open, transparent and accountable about the use by political parties of your data is essential for a healthy democracy. But early indications show some political parties are riding roughshod over crucial data rights.

See more about this case