Friday, 16 October 2015

EU Referendum: Guido's Dodgy Data Grab?

In light of our recent posts it comes of some interest to see that blogger Guido Fawkes - a self declared anti establishment figure - is criticising the establishment, more specifically supporters of Labour leader Corbyn, for potential data mining:
The Corbyn cheer-leading organisation “Momentum” claims to be able to contact all the people who signed up to support Jeremy Corbyn during the leadership contest, but they might not have permission to do so. When people signed up as supporters of the Corbyn4Leader campaign, they were asked to give their email addresses and postcodes; the campaign said they were collecting this information to “enable us to carry out casework on behalf of constituents; issues and campaigns we are involved with locally; maintaining our own accounts and records; supporting and managing our employees and agents.”

According to the Information Commissioner’s Office “individuals should generally be able to choose whether or not their personal data is disclosed to another organisation” and if an organisation does intend to disclose information to another organisation, “fairness requires that you tell the individuals concerned unless they are likely to expect such disclosures.”

If Momentum is a stand alone limited company and doesn’t share any formal links with other organisations as they claim, what right did the official Corbyn campaign have to pass over the sensitive personal data of its supporters to them?
It really is astonishing that given Guido's assertions by his own admission to build a database of "sensitive personal data" on the back of referendum campaigns he has the nerve to criticise others for allegedly doing similar and to give "unofficial" advice. It's brazen hypocrisy. It is also a reflection of supposed prestige over facts, by a blogger who is clearly a member of the establishment

It has long been with some despondent amusement to find that a blog which purports to be anti-establishment, yet clearly has establishment approval who have financial interests at stake, has as its main author a man who has been bankrupt, is guilty of criminal behaviour and appears to be happy to abuse taxpayer's money with the icing on the cake being a blog published by an offshore company. That he is given significant leeway by the establishment is of some puzzlement. Perhaps it's a perfect reflection of them.

In addition Guido Fawkes is clearly closely linked with Matthew Elliott as we have previously seen and obviously there are questions to be answered regarding the conduct of Guido and Matthew Elliot in the AV Referendum; questions which have yet to be answered despite plenty of opportunity to do so.

With this in mind we wonder then whether MP and former Cabinet Minister Owen Paterson MP should associate himself with those who may compromise his position as a decent man.

Hattip: Toby Goodman on Twitter.

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