ICO’s Elizabeth Denham Confirms illegal racial voter profiling by the Conservative Party

Responding to ICO’s Commissioner Elizabeth Denham’s confirmation of the Conservative Party’s illegal racial voter profilingJim Killock, Executive Director of Open Rights Group said: [1]

“The Conservative Party’s racial profiling of voters was illegal. Elizabeth Denham finally confirmed the unlawful nature of this profiling by the Conservative Party under pressure from MP’s on the DCMS select committee.

“Yet the ICO still has not explained what parties can and cannot do. Mass profiling of voters continues, even if this data has been removed. The ICO needs to act and stop unlawful profiling practices. That’s their job.” 

Open Rights Group staff and supporters have filed a complaint to the ICO to seek adjudication of the use of their data, to ensure that enforcement takes place. [2]

The ICO report from 11 November 2020 revealed the Conservatives’ profiling of voters for racial characteristics gave recommendations on parties’ use of data, but failed to explain whether this was illegal, or what the limits to profiling are. [3]



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Notes to the Editor 

1 The Information Commissioner confirmed this in oral testimony to Parliament’s Digital, Media, Culture, and Sport Sub-Committee on Online Harms and Disinformation. The testimony can be viewed from 11:19:00 to 11:20:25 at https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/d4a948dd-b19a-4ece-adbe-8d84cfab09c5

2 For further information on ORG’s challenge to the political parties use of personal data https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/org-takes-political-parties-to-privacy-watchdog/  

3 See ICO blog at https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-and-events/news-and-blogs/2020/11/uk-political-parties-must-improve-data-protection-practices/ and summary audit https://ico.org.uk/action-weve-taken/audits-and-overview-reports/uk-political-parties/

Our blog explains how these failed to give any recommendation regarding racial and other profiling by political parties https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/10000000-voters-racially-profiled-by-conservatives/