The Conservative Party was fined £ 10,000 for sending dozens of emails on behalf of Boris Johnson to people who did not want to receive them.
This was a “serious” violation of data laws, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said following an investigation.
Emails were sent, specifically addressed to recipients, for eight days in July 2019, when Mr Johnson became party leader and prime minister.
They laid out the Tory’s priorities, including on Brexit, the NHS and police numbers, and urged them to join the party.
The ICO discovered that the party had changed email providers and therefore failed to correctly record that in 51 cases, subscribers requested to be removed from their marketing list.
During the investigation, the party conducted an “industrial-scale email marketing exercise” in the December 2019 election, in which nearly 23 million emails were sent and 95 other complaints were filed.
Stephen Eckersley, ICO Director of Investigations, said: “The public have rights with respect to how their personal data is used for marketing purposes.
“Getting messages out to potential voters is important in a healthy democracy, but political parties must obey the law in doing so. The Conservative Party should have known this, but it broke the law.
“All organizations – whether political parties, businesses or otherwise – should give people clear information and choices about what is done with their personal data. The laws on direct marketing are clear and it is the responsibility of all organizations to ensure that they comply.
“Sending harmful marketing emails is a real concern to the public and the ICO will continue to take action when we find behavior that endangers people’s information rights.”
The ICO said that of the 1,190,280 marketing emails sent by the party between July 24 and July 31, 2019, it was not possible to say for sure how many were validly sent “because the party no. was unable to provide …
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This notice was published: 2021-06-03 12:18:00