National Spam Service

During the hysteria in the run-up to May 2018, one of the ways in which it was easy to spot GDPR practitioners whose sole Data Protection experience was doing That Dreadful Course Run By Those Awful People was their lack of awareness of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003, known to its friends as […]

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Second Class

The Times published an interesting story on Saturday about businesses being approached by the Information Commissioner’s Office. According to the story, thousands of small business owners and landlords have received “heavy-handed” letters about the annual fee which many organisations are liable to pay under the Data Protection Act 2018. The GDPR abolished the requirement for […]

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New Year Dishonours

There’s never a good time to accidentally publish a huge batch of personal data online, but the interregnum between Christmas and New Year, when nothing happens and most people are bored is a particularly unfortunate moment to choose. The Cabinet Office’s foul-up in publishing the home addresses of the thousand or so people in receipt […]

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The Hangover

Another day, another story in the Observer about Dominic Cummings and the Brexit vote, inspired (if that is ever the right word in this context) by revelations from Ian Lucas, the former MP for Wrexham. Lucas did not stand in the 2019 General Election and his former seat went to the Tories. Notwithstanding his decision […]

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Open Goal

The OpenRightsGroup currently have a tool on their website to make subject access requests to political parties; they say that it is intended to investigate political profiling: “Who do political parties think we are?” is the heading on the page. There is definitely a problem with the way all parties use personal data, and the […]

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Hare-brained

Most people have little routines that they enjoy on a Sunday. Doing a spot of gardening, going for a run – I know one person who relishes his Sunday trip to the tip. For me, a minor weekend pleasure is the masochistic ritual of reading a maddeningly ill-informed article about Data Protection in the Guardian […]

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Low Profile

The use of personal data to advance political causes has never had as high a profile as it does now, thanks mainly to Brexit and the lurid tales of data manipulation usually bundled under the vague heading of the ‘Cambridge Analytica scandal’. Thanks to the efforts of certain journalists, the narrative is now fixed. Cambridge […]

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Mistaken Identity

Over the past week, numerous excited stories have covered a talk given by James Pavur, an Oxford University researcher and Rhodes Scholar, at the Blackhat Convention in Las Vegas. With his girlfriend’s consent, Pavur made 150 subject access requests in her name. In what the BBC called a ‘privacy hack’ until they were shamed into changing the […]

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Mates’ Rates

A while ago, I noticed an FOI request sent to the Information Commissioner’s Office on the website What Do They Know? I always keep an eye on requests made to Wilmslow, but this one was especially intriguing. It asked about payments made by ICO to external suppliers and consultants where the work had not been put […]

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