“Big Brother’s” Survey – the small print,

the very small print, and the even smaller print (hard to spot at the very bottom).

“The Conservative Party uses the information you provide for the purposes of democratic engagement. This covers a wide range of activities inside and outside election periods, including but not limited to: democratic representation; communicating with you: surveying and opinion gathering, campaigning activities; activities to increase voter turnout; supporting the work of elected representatives, prospective candidates and official candidates; and fundraising to support any of these activities.

“For full terms of use and how to exercise your rights see our Privacy Notice at http://www.conservatives.com/Privacy”

Pretty wide ranging.

Can anyone spot the “I agree to the terms and conditions” tick box?

Neither can Owl.

“Your details are on the Register of Electors, provided to us for electoral purposes under the Representation of the People Act. You received this material because we believe you will be interested in its contents. You can request that we do not contact you in future or exercise your rights by visiting http://www.conservatives.com/contact and selecting Data Protection/Stop Mailings.”

The Legal Eagles amongst you might like to consider the questions raised by Paul F.

 In full posted as comment here, but more briefly summarised below:

1. The Privacy web page referred to is for the Conservative Party (central office) and although this refers to “the wider Conservative Party” it clearly states that local associations “may be data controllers in their own right or data processors acting on behalf of the Party”. This survey strongly states that it is a local “Community” survey (local to a specific town, not even the entire constituency) and this is highly suggestive that the data processor is the local association, yet the Privacy Policy they refer to is the central Party one, suggesting that it will be the main Party that will be processing the data. I am therefore left entirely uncertain as to who the Data Processor for this particular survey, and I suspect that without this being made explicitly clear, any consent is void – not the least of which because who would you legally need to contact if you wanted to know what data was being held or to request that they delete it or change your communications preferences.

2. Section 4.1 of the Privacy policy is also somewhat worrying – because it allows them to Canvas and collect your political opinions and process this data without having explicit consent (first item in the table). Whilst it may be legal for them to communicate with you about their policies based on your entry in the electoral register (Public Task), I doubt very much that it is legal for them to collect specific personal data on your political opinions based on a Public Task consent (2nd 4th and 6th rows). I doubt that a party can claim a “Substantial Public Interest” because on that basis, any political party (i.e. a one-man band set up specifically for this purpose) could collect political opinion data for the entire country without requiring any consent whatsoever.

3. I am not quite sure what would happen if the survey was returned without this having been filled in as it contains personally identifiable data (name and address on the front) but the person has clearly not consented to the processing of the data.

3 thoughts on ““Big Brother’s” Survey – the small print,

  1. Some worrying issues here, perhaps for our ‘learned friends’ to get to grips with. But an astonishing claim is made; that what the Conservatives are doing includes: ‘activities to increase voter turn out’. The Tories are actually seeking to suppress voter turn out (especially amongst people less likely to vote for them) by requiring would-be voters to produce photographic ID at polling stations.


    • Psst Question 14 asks the recipient if they would like a postal vote (to be arranged by you know who).


  2. I believe that information relating to political has the effect of classifying all the data on this form as sensitive data under GDPR. As such it is subject to more stringent rules on storage, processing and use. As has been stated above, it looks as if the act of gathering, storing and processing of this data without express consent could put the party in breach of GDPR.


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