Banks firm and Leave.EU face £135k in penalties

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 9, 2018

"We are investigating allegations that Eldon Insurance Services Limited [trading as GoSkippy] shared customer data obtained for insurance purposes with Leave.EU", the Information Commissioner's report said.

"That is why I am calling for views for a code of practice covering the use of data in campaigns and elections".

The ICO said that it had based its investigation on over 700 terabytes of data, equivalent to 52.2 billion pages taken from machines and cloud servers.

The details were released as Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham was presenting the ICO's findings to MPs at a hearing of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

"Updated data protection law sets out legal requirements and it should be government and regulators upholding the law".

Both Denham and her office's report indicated that the United Kingdom was at a cross-roads in terms of the use of data in political campaigning but warned that tighter regulation of tech firms was "quite controversial and the need to balance freedom of expression with the harms of the internet is hard", she told MPs.

The business and campaign have been told of the ICO's intent to fine them a total of £135,000.

The ICO has fined Brexit campaign group Leave.EU and an insurance company owned by Leave.EU's main funder, Arron Banks, £135,000 ($176,000) for breaching United Kingdom data laws.

It was also revealed that Cambridge Analytica, which was widely criticised over the Facebook data breach, would have faced a "substantial fine" had it not gone into administration.

It added: "But Leave.EU did explore creating a new organisation, called Big Data Dolphins, with a view to collecting and analysing large quantities of data for political purposes".

The UK voted by 51.9% to 48.1% to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum.

Denham's deputy, James Dipple-Johnstone, said the watchdog also had concerns about the use of data for electronic marketing at Vote Leave, the official pro-Brexit campaign group led by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove.

"Without a high level of transparency and trust amongst citizens that their data is being used appropriately, we are at risk of developing a system of voter surveillance by default", the report said.

"The ICO find no evidence of a grand data conspiracy and find we may have accidentally sent a newsletter to customers", he said on Twitter.

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