Arron Banks and Leave.EU fined £120,000 by ICO

Leave.EU and an insurance company owned by Arron Banks have been fined £120,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for serious breaches of electronic marketing laws during the referendum campaign.

The ICO announced an audit and an intent to fine Leave.EU and Eldon Insurance in November 2018 as part of its investigation into data analytics for political purposes.

After considering the companies’ representations, it has now issued the fines, which total £120,000.

The ICO investigation found that Leave.EU and Eldon Insurance were closely linked and that systems for segregating the personal data of insurance customers’ from that of political subscribers’ were ineffective.

This resulted in Leave.EU using Eldon Insurance customers’ details unlawfully to send almost 300,000 political marketing messages, which resulted in a £15,000 for this breach.

Eldon Insurance also carried out two unlawful direct marketing campaigns. The campaigns involved the sending of over one million emails to Leave.EU subscribers without sufficient consent. Leave.EU has been fined £45,000 and Eldon Insurance has been fined £60,000 for the breach.

Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner said: “It is deeply concerning that sensitive personal data gathered for political purposes was later used for insurance purposes; and vice versa. It should never have happened.

“We have been told both organisations have made improvements and learned from these events. But the ICO will now audit the organisations to determine how they are using customers’ personal information.”

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2 Responses

  1. Russ Littler

    It’s amazing that the Conservative’s breached rule after rule in the referendum. 9 million of tax-payers money spent on a leaflet drop, and thousand of pounds overspent in South Thanet, and yet nary a word, not a squeak from the government watchdog organisations. Same thing has happened in France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Seems like the law only works for the liberal-left these days.

    1. andy

      Priti Patel asked ICO to investigate various allegations re: remain, but the ICO checked (Aug 2018) and said there was no evidence. We do however have evidence of hedge funds funding leave campaigns in order to profiteer from the resultant currency chaos (aided by Farage’s little ‘honest mistakes’ claiming remain had won, twice), we have numerous fines on the leave campaign proven to ‘criminal standard’ of evidence including illegal campaign spending, data protection breaches (the ones reported here, plus the facebook/Cambridge Analytica ones), and an ongoing NCA investigation, with numerous unanswered questions about whether leave funding came from abroad, and we have proven interference by Russia, and proven involvement by the nastier wing of the US far right. If you’d like to get into immoral behaviour rather than just illegal, then we’re going to need a much bigger web page (sustained lying by politicians, leave marketing solely to evoke fear/anger reactions (proven to have raised hate crime in the process) and link them – dishonestly – to the EU, leave admitting they had no idea about what a post leave UK would look like (and hence no idea what they were actually selling to the population), etc). Remain weren’t perfect (they got fined a few k for something by electoral commission) but the leave campaigns are proven sodden right though by corruption (already, hundreds of thousands of pounds of fines, and more to come).

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