back to article Watchdog slams political data slurpers' 'disturbing disregard' for voters' privacy

Cambridge Analytica, Facebook, universities and political parties are all in the dog house as the UK's data protection watchdog condemned a "disturbing disregard" for personal privacy across the system. 50 of your British pounds. Photo by Shutterstock ICO poised to fine Leave campaign and Arron Banks’ insurance biz £135,000 …

  1. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Whatever the side the reality is there is a global

    ... political data slurpers' 'disturbing disregard' for voters ' privacy

  2. Dwarf Silver badge

    GDPR

    Get some teeth, make them pay for not following the rules.

    Second point - companies get real on the real data need - don't try to collect my inside leg measurement just so I can sign up for your service. *

    * I think its 16 inches ... :-)

  3. Garymrrsn

    In The USA

    In the USA organizations are usually exempt from this kind of onerous regulation, at least when exemption benefits politicians. We don't want to stifle the democratic process now do we?

    (This is a sarcasm icon)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thing is, this was foreseen.

    Guy I was at Uni in the 80s wrote a paper on how being able to identify the few voters in marginals that actually cause an election result go one way or another would effectively gift the election to whoever could influence those few - at most thousand - voters.

    He got as far as showing how you could pull the electoral roll and marketing lists together to start guessing at who votes which way (address data was used).

    He stopped after a visit, and a suggestion he do something else for his Masters. Turns out a lot of academics have weird links to the security services.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thing is, this was foreseen.

      Guy I was at Uni in the 80s

      If he called it 'Uni' in the 80s, he must have been Australian.

    2. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Re: Thing is, this was foreseen.

      the few voters in marginals that actually cause an election result go one way or another would effectively gift the election to whoever could influence those few

      I think you'll find that all political parties have known this for many decades - you only have to look at both Labour & Conservative bringing in foreign "electoral gurus" to do their campaign strategy over decades. And before technology looked useful to the politicians they still segmented voters in marginal seats, hence segments like Mondeo Man and Worcester Woman.

      The ability to specifically target individuals through technology is certainly new, but since all political parties are at it, it becomes something of a zero sum game that isn't materially different to previous elections.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: all political parties have known this for many decades

        Yes. But they didn't have the tools (or quite frankly the smarts) to work out how to combined orthogonal data sets.

        And, as a certain Mr. Raab is showing today, nothing much has changed. They really are that thick.

  5. nematoad Silver badge
    Unhappy

    I think not.

    "... significantly change their business practices, to earn people's trust."

    Why should they? They make a mint of money the way things are and most of their users don't know or care about the misuse of their data. They don't need their users trust because things are going so well for them. They might need their customer's trust if things go on as they are, because all these characters are interested in is money. Sod ethics and doing the right thing.

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