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Case update 05 February 2024

The Tories want to keep us quiet – but we’re not backing down

Chris Jobs / Alamy

The Conservative Party claims we can’t publish its response to our legal challenge over its voter data grab. But – unless they injunct us – we’re going to go ahead and share it anyway. 

 

The Tories have tried to shrug off our challenge over their voter data grab with smirks and threats, but we’re not backing down. They claim their response to our legal letter is confidential and bound by copyright, but we plan to publish it anyway.

We’ve already taken the first formal step in legal proceedings against the Tories over data protection breaches on their website, as they try to harvest voter information in the run up to the election. We received a response, but the Tories claim we can’t publish it because it is “confidential” and “the intellectual property of the Conservative Party”.

A 'Copyright and Confidentiality' notice sent to Good Law Project by the Conservative Party which reads: "COPYRIGHT AND CONFIDENTIALITY This response and information in it is the intellectual property of the Conservative Party and/or third parties. Any unauthorised use, copying or disclosure (in whole or in part) by you or your client or any person acting for or in connection with you or your client may be an infringement of copyright and may result in legal action. This response and any information provided in this response (other than information that the Conservative Party has made public) is confidential to the Conservative Party and must not be used by, or disclosed to, any third party (save for your client’s professional advisers who are subject to a strict duty of confidence) or to the extent necessary in court proceedings or other active proceedings under Civil Procedure Rules or to properly lodge and deal with a formal complaint about the issues raised to the Information Commissioner."

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This is an extraordinary position to adopt for a party whose leader promised to govern with “integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level”. And it’s a strange stance if you are confident you can win in court.

We have informed the Tories that we will be publishing their response this week. We’re giving them fair warning: if they really think their letter is “confidential” and “the intellectual property of the Conservative Party” then they can apply for an injunction.

Political parties are harvesting more and more of our data, so they can run micro-targeted divisive campaigns out of public view. We’ll keep shining a light on these murky practices. And we’ll keep fighting to strengthen our democratic rights.