back to article ICO poised to fine Leave campaign and Arron Banks’ insurance biz £135,000

The Information Commissioner’s Office plans to slap fines totalling £135,000 on Leave.EU and Brexiteer Arron Banks’ insurance biz Eldon for “serious” breaches of direct marketing laws. magnifying Brit privacy watchdog reports on political data harvests: We've read the lot so you don't have to READ MORE According to the ICO, …

  1. DJV Silver badge

    £135,000

    Is that all? It should be far more, and he and his cronies should face a prison sentence for their underhand dealings and the trouble they are inflicting on this country.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: £135,000

      Electricity to send the e-mails: £4.63

      Fine for sending the e-mails: £135,000

      Getting the UK out of the EU by lies and fraud: Priceless.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: £135,000

        Electricity to send the e-mails: £4.63

        Fine for sending the e-mails: £135,000

        Attempting to sell insurance to your Brexit mailing list: I guess they sold a few policies to cover costs

        FIFY

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: £135,000

      Ah yes, but if Britain wasn't in the EU then honourable businessmen like the amiable Mr Banks, wouldn't find themselves shackled by this oppressive privacy legislation.

  2. tmTM

    He doesn't care

    Lie, cheat and break the law, none of it matters if you win the vote.

    1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

      Re: He doesn't care

      SCream and shout and call people stupid, racist nazis, none of it matters if you get another vote. If you still lose, what happens next? A "People's" Revolution? Votes for 12 year olds? No votes for OAPs?

  3. Mr Dogshit

    Chuck that toad in the Tower of London

    Will of the people my arse

    1. Semtex451 Silver badge

      Re: Chuck that toad in the Tower of London

      Guy's it's about data misuse. You're not seriously suggesting that anything the ICO is investigating actually influenced the public vote to leave, are you?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Chuck that toad in the Tower of London

        Agreed that this item is not relevant to the referendum but it does tell us something about the character of the 'accused' (in other related action).

      2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Chuck that toad in the Tower of London

        You're not seriously suggesting that anything the ICO is investigating actually influenced the public vote to leave, are you?

        You're not seriously suggesting Banks spent £6 million and engaged in deceit and lies if what he was doing did not?

        He may be a serial liar, a crook and conman, but he's not an idiot.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Chuck that toad in the Tower of London

          >He may be a serial liar, a crook and conman, but he's not an idiot.

          He might not be an idiot, but he donated £8m to a campaign that officially spent under £700k...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Chuck that toad in the Tower of London

          @Jason Bloomberg

          One downvote. Somebody clearly thinks he IS an idiot!

          1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Chuck that toad in the Tower of London

            Someone who observed he was caught......

      3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Chuck that toad in the Tower of London

        Guy's it's about data misuse.

        Yes, but what was the reason for the abuse?

        I hope some of these cunts get doxed. Love to see them running for the protection of the law when it suits them. Except, of course, they can normally afford to get injunctions…

      4. katrinab Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Chuck that toad in the Tower of London

        "You're not seriously suggesting that anything the ICO is investigating actually influenced the public vote to leave, are you?"

        Yes. Do you think they would waste loads of money on advertising that doesn't work?

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      Will of the people my arse

      Au Contraire, very much the will of the people.

      If by "The people" you mean the will of Vlad Putin and Lynton Crosby.

      If you wonder why Russia would bankroll such nonsense it's simple.

      Divide and rule.

      The EU is weaker without the UK and vice versa, making both easier targets for Putin and his cronies to lean on. Putin, Trump and Rupert Murdoch all supported Leave. People should have asked "Why?"

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Will of the people my arse

        @John Smith 19

        People should have asked "Why?"

        The answer lies in some mediaeval legislation that is still in force, the 1351 Treason Act.

        "be adherent to the King’s Enemies in his Realm, giving to them Aid and Comfort in the Realm, or elsewhere,"

        Vlad has been responsible for killing the Queen's subjects in her realm. That sounds like it makes him an enemy. He will be happy if the UK leaves the UK as it will weaken the UK and the EU. Sounds like giving comfort.

        So what does that make the people who supported Leave?

        And if that doesn't deserve life in a deep dungeon in the Tower, I don't know what does?

        [And on a historical note, when one William Joyce was convicted of high treason in 1945, he didn't get away with life]

        1. David Neil

          Re: Will of the people my arse

          However the death penalty was removed as an option for Treason under 1998 Human Rights act, the via acceding to Article 13 of teh ECHR

          1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

            Re: Will of the people my arse

            @David Neil

            However the death penalty was removed as an option for Treason under 1998 Human Rights act, the via acceding to Article 13 of teh ECHR

            And rightly so. But that doesn't prevent them spending the rest of their lives breaking stones on Dartmoor on a diet of GM bread, hormone-laced water and chlorinated chicken, or clearing landmines in West Falkland. Or even sitting in their own waste at the bottom of a deep bottle-dungeon.

            Vindictive? Moi? After the deaths and misery they are responsible for?

        2. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

          Re: Will of the people my arse

          "So what does that make the people who supported Leave?"

          Not sure, but those who supported remain and the ever closer political union, with the ceding of sovereignty to un-elected officials could be considered treasonous?

          But that's probably not what you meant.

          1. Champ

            Re: Will of the people my arse

            >those who supported remain and the ever closer political union, with the

            >ceding of sovereignty to un-elected officials

            It's my experience that those who most play the 'but sovereignty!' card least understand it.

            The only way to be completely sovereign is to be completely isolated. Like North Korea. Otherwise...

            - want to join the WTO? Need to abide by rules, that limit sovereignty

            - want to join the UN? Need to abide by rules, that limit sovereignty

            - want an FTA with <country>? Need to abide by rules, that limit sovereignty

            The EU is really about pooling sovereignty, not ceding it.

          2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Will of the people my arse

            with the ceding of sovereignty to un-elected officials

            Like the House of Lords you mean? Or senior Civil Servants - who have a great deal more power than most people realise..

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Will of the people my arse

        >The EU is weaker without the UK and vice versa, making both easier targets for Putin and his cronies to lean on. Putin, Trump and Rupert Murdoch all supported Leave. People should have asked "Why?"

        The EU, and the UK, being weaker also benefits the USA, China and any other major players who are threatened by a strong EU. It *might* not just be the Russians that are bankrolling it.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Will of the people my arse

          It *might* not just be the Russians that are bankrolling it.

          I think Russian involvement is largely overplayed. Most of the money came from special interest groups who see a financial benefit for them in being able to opt out of lots of legislation (employment, environmental and, yes, privacy) that they don't like. They should be shown up for the hyprocrites they are and the hollow lie of taking back control be exposed for the hoodwinking it was.

      3. VulcanV5
        Happy

        Re: Will of the people my arse

        'Putin, Trump and Rupert Murdoch all supported Leave. People should have asked "Why?"'

        Er, you're missing the point. The June 2016 referendum was never about "why?" but about "who?"

        Thus it was that people did indeed ask who was supporting Remain, and learned that the roll-call included Tony Blair, Bob Geldof, George Osborne, HM Treasury, David Beckham, Goldman Sachs, David Cameron, John Major, Jeremy Clarkson, Jamie Oliver, Lynton Crosby, Simon Cowell, and Tim Farron.

        Once that became apparent, so did the Remain campaign's fatal strategic error. Had it prevailed upon all the above to say they were voting Leave, then Remain would have won the referendum with an astronomically high majority.

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          WTF?

          "supporting Remain,.. Lynton Crosby"

          I don't think so.

    3. Empire of the Pussycat

      Re: Chuck that toad in the Tower of London

      i'm sure toads would have nothing to do with him, they are inoffensive and rather cute

      fascists on the other hand, probably right up their street

  4. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

    Unlike other charges against Banks and Leave.EU, this one is pretty much an "open and shut" case - by which I mean the law is clear, the evidence is clear and easy to find, and there really isn't much legal opinion that can go into it on either side.

    So if you're a fan of chaos and legal shenanigans, then it's not quite popcorn time (for either side). Yet. But we'll see...

  5. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Guardian has the best comment

    A picture is worth a thousand words.

    There is very little more to say here.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "A picture is worth a thousand words."

      Just look at it and think "Riibbip, ribbip"

  6. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Whereas the "Remain" campaign

    .. had to manage on just their tiddly legal budget, plus the entire UK Goverment and executive helping out.

    If the support of the supposedly "neutral" state was priced correctly, "Remain" would have been way over budget too.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: Whereas the "Remain" campaign

      As with anything, it all depends on how you present the facts.

      I think you've misread things. The major stories following from this report are (in no particular order, and from a certain point of view)

      1) He has not been found to have not overspent, and neither has the leave campaign.

      1a) The Lib Dems were found guilty of breaching the spending limits for "remain" and were fined for this last year.

      2) Quite a few journalists stated that a major factor of leave winning was Cambridge Analytica doing micro targeting. Remember that?

      The report states that having investigated this exceedingly closely CA did not take part in the referendum. An awful lot of journalists have just had their journalistic credibility torn to shreds.

      2) He has been found to have run part of the marketing campaign on the same IT infrastructure as one of his businesses.

      3) Either deliberately or via screwing up, they sent a marketing message meant from the leave.eu group to the people opted in to the mailing list of one of his companies.

      4) He's been caught using the leave.eu group to send a 10% off discount offer for an insurance product sold by one of his businesses.

      5) There remains no evidence whatsoever that Russia funded the leave campaign, and the only people asserting this are the people who asserted that Cambridge Analytica won the referendum for leave, which has just been proven false.

      6) The Lib Dems have just been fined for outright selling their members information to the remain campaign without their consent.

      6a) In other news, the Lib Dems are having to make staff redundant due to financial difficulties.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Whereas the "Remain" campaign

        @ Peter2, you must stop pointing out the truth, at least 3 people don't like it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Whereas the "Remain" campaign

        Don't bring facts into a Brexit argument, you'll always get downvoted.

      3. Rol Silver badge

        Re: Whereas the "Remain" campaign

        As with anything, it all depends on how you present the facts.

        1. Aaron Banks has not denied being in a field where farm animals were sexually abused.

        2. When asked if he had stopped beating his wife, he couldn't give a simple yes or no answer.

        3. He came top in a poll of people in my flat, when asked to name a British traitor.

        4. He sells insurance!!!!!

        5. Reports of him laughing while drowning puppies in the river Avon have yet to be substantiated.

        6. He's an insurance salesman!!!

        7. He has yet to deny that he has been awarded a medal by Putin for services to the motherland.

        8. His mates think he should sue me for defamation of character, or at least that's what Dr Dolittle's interpretation made of all that braying and squealing.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Whereas the "Remain" campaign

      If the support of the supposedly "neutral" state was priced correctly,

      No neutrality required: it was avowed government policy.

  7. Wiltshire

    Remainers like myself were hoping for an explosive report to blow up Brexit. Sadly it's been revealed that it’s our Remain campaign and the Lib Dems who are under investigation by the ICO for potential data breaches before the referendum. Arron Banks’ looming fines are well-deserved but almost entirely for using his Leave.EU mailing list to flog insurance after the referendum, not for activities during the campaign.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      I wonder if this is the whole story though? I suspect there's more to come. Parties have been playing a bit fast-and-loose with data recently. I can think of a few examples that bear investigation:

      UKIP data may have been passed on to the leave campaign - or both of them. Which might even be fair enough, although I can imagine there were UKIP supporters who weren't so interested in their leaving the EU policies. After all, polling data from after the 2010 election shows that just shy of 10% of LIb Dem voters shifted their vote to UKIP. Surely they're general protest voters - otherwise why were thy supporting the most pro-EU party beforehand? Also UKIP weren't properly organised and it was Farage's crony's who ran things, so I'd be amazed if Banks (or someone else) didn't tap into their databases, both for leave and maybe also for personal gain.

      Then you've got Momentum. Jon Lansman set up a database as part of the Corbyn leadership campaign. All fair enough and above board. But then he kept hold of it after Corbyn was elected and used it as the starting point for the Momentum database. I guess that depends on the consent they asked for, as surely it should otherwise have been destroyed or handed over to the Labour Party to add to its data? Which is how Momentum had the contact info to grow so fast, much of which would have been suppporters of the campaign, but they also get member data from Labour to help in leadership campaigns.

      Staying on Labour - I've read from multiple sources that one of the shennanigans in Labour leadership elections is for the Unions to sign up people as affiliates. The chosen candidate for leader gets given their data straight away, but they wait until the final deadline a couple of weeks before the vote, before passing on to other candidates.

      All parties have an awful lot of data - and you have to wonder what outside consultants they use - and also if they're campaigning via Facebook and Twitter what they're revealing to those great data-hoovers. Particularly Facebook.

      I wait to hear more about the Lib Dem thing. I thought parties got privileged access to extra electoral roll data, that doesn't go to marketing lists. Surely they don't get the right to sell that on? But I'd imagine the official remain campaign had the legal right to it, so they were more buying the Lib Dem's organisation of it. At least I hope so.

      Hopefully we'll get lots of small fines and knuckles rapped now. So everyone's on notice that under the new GDPR rules the fines will be higher, and there'll be no excuse.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        I wait to hear more about the Lib Dem thing. I thought parties got privileged access to extra electoral roll data, that doesn't go to marketing lists. Surely they don't get the right to sell that on?

        Having given the LDs some money in 2016 I subsequently received several campaign-related e-mails all from the LDs which I all deleted but nothing else and since GDPR came into force I've had nothing. Wish I could say that about other mailshots I continue to receive. But, yeah, it should all be investigated.

  8. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    ICO and the Leave campaign.

    I would be more interested in the source of whoever is pushing to discredit the Brexit vote.

    a) Discredit Brexit vote (and those who promoted it)

    b) Sabotage the Brexit negotiations with Brussels.

    c) Call for a second vote.

    d) Simples.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ICO and the Leave campaign.

      Sometimes it's almost like Brexit supporters would excuse Banks, Farage et al if they came home and found them all in flagrante delicto with their partner.

      Farage> It's for Brexit! Go pop the kettle on, we'll be finished up here in a bit.

      Brexiter> Oh, alright then, "Sir" Nigel. Two sugars ... ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ICO and the Leave campaign.

        Whereas the remainers don't even notice that they're getting fucked by the EU.

        1. Stuart 22

          Re: ICO and the Leave campaign.

          "Whereas the remainers don't even notice that they're getting fucked by the EU."

          Except the EU is us - until March 29th. Then it belongs solely foreigners who can fuck us unhindered.

          Well done Leave.eu for giving them control ... unless you think the Maybot of the Rovers can come back from 27-1 down. Well I suppose she could put Trump in own-goal and if only Jacob & Boris would stop taking out our defence ... we could possibly stop being the laughing stock of the universe.

          1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

            Re: ICO and the Leave campaign.

            "Except the EU is us "

            Thank you, but as a Britsh citizen, I have had nothing whatsoever with foisting the Euro on to the PIIGS and causing widespread unemployment and structural rigidity.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: ICO and the Leave campaign.

              >Thank you, but as a Britsh citizen, I have had nothing whatsoever with foisting the Euro on to the PIIGS and causing widespread unemployment and structural rigidity.

              Do you also disclaim credit for the issues in the UK over the last 30 years, such as increasing homeless, rise of ZHCs, income disparity, 9 of the 10 most deprived areas in Northern Europe?

            2. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: ICO and the Leave campaign.

              @ Clunking Fist

              "Thank you, but as a Britsh citizen, I have had nothing whatsoever with foisting the Euro on to the PIIGS and causing widespread unemployment and structural rigidity."

              Unfortunately we are part guilty as 1/28th of the union that inflicted such damage. What concerns me most is the series of excuses and victim blaming when it comes to the EU self inflicting multiple crises because people wish to remain. To remain part of the union which is causing such hardship instead of refusing to be associated with such malice/incompetence.

              We are guilty by association and our resources have been used to inflict an amount of the damage (Cameron's signed deal that our contribution wouldnt bail out Greece. Then the EU did it anyway).

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: ICO and the Leave campaign.

                "To remain part of the union which is causing such hardship instead of refusing to be associated with such malice/incompetence."

                But enough about the Tories'* policies and inadequacies and their part in the upcoming downfall of the UK.

                *And their dog wagging tail, the DUP.

        2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          "Whereas the remainers don't even notice that they're getting fucked by the EU."

          That's what you get for learning your "facts" from the Daily Heil.

          IRL it's the rest of the EU who think they've been getting f**ked by the British deals (on opt outs and rebate) since Margaret Thatcher.

          Thatcher was no fan of the EU but she did seem to care about the UK and understood its real position in the UK, unlike the delusional f**kwits of the current Conservative back bench, who either don't or anticipate making a great deal of money in the chaos Brexit is causing.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wonder if ...

    ... Tim Worstall will be helping organise a whip-round to pay these fines too?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dictionary definition (update)

    If you look up the word 'schadenfreude' in the online Oxford Dictionary, it now just says: See; Brexit

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