The travails of Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, as he tries to become a real politician and campaign as an Independent candidate for the forthcoming European Parliament elections, continue as he and his team have to apply stickers to all those election leaflets that did not contain the required imprint. But his problems in that area are not over yet: there is also the matter of his election website.
Fortunately for Lennon, the “Vote Tommy” website at least has the required imprint information at the foot of its home page. His problem is that there is something potentially more serious missing, and that is to do with Data Protection law.
Lennon’s election website solicits, and therefore gathers, personal data. There are no fewer than nine opportunities on that home page to “Join the movement” - all of which direct the user to a “Sign Up” page. There, users are asked for their first and last names, email address, mobile phone number, and address. Personal data. Being harvested by Lennon’s campaign. But for what purpose we are not told.
On the basis of the Information Commisioner’s definition of personal data, the Vote Tommy website is classed as a Data Processor. It must tell users how long personal data will be held, and this cannot be an open ended period. It must also tell those users how the data will be stored and where - and what it will be used for.
Whether that is against electoral law is not known, but it is certainly against current law on data protection. So he and his team should have no problem with the Information Commissioner’s Office being made aware of the shortcomings, as well as the Electoral Commission. In the meantime, he needs to address the problem.
That’s if he’s serious about running for office. I’ll just leave that one there.
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