Trust Us, We’re Politicians! MPs Seek Exemption From Data Protection Laws

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From Digit, by Ross Kelly

Trust Us, We’re Politicians! MPs Seek Exemption From Data Protection Laws

MPs are currently debating exemptions in the Data Protection Bill could open citizens’ data up to Cambridge Analytica-style profiling by Britain’s political parties – or anyone they care to nominate.
Information gained last week by The Independent details how parties from both sides of the political divide are working together to introduce intrusive data gathering legislation through certain aspects of the Data Protection Bill, enabling them to carry out extensive profiling of British citizens’ ideological beliefs and target us with targeted and specific political messages.
The new legislation, which is set set pass within a matter of weeks, will allow political parties to grant themselves exemption from certain aspects of the new data laws. Their argument is that they have a right to canvas prospective voters and so accessing personal data through fundraising, surveys and various forms of casework is an integral aspect of their preparatory work during election cycles.

This will apply not only to Members of Parliament in Westminster but also to MSP’s in Scotland, as well as representatives in Northern Ireland and Wales – local councillors across the UK also included. In fact all ‘elected representatives‘, or more ambiguously and leaving the door open for companies like the now notorious Cambridge Analytica, ‘a person acting with the authority of such a representative.‘
All of our elected representatives are apparently in favour of making themselves a special case. The bill has gained cross-party consensus with the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats all supporting the new legislation.
GDPR adds further safeguards for the individual against such profiling. However, according to Big Brother Watch the ‘Data Protection Bill currently fails to provide sufficient safeguards for data subjects’ rights’ and political parties’ exemptions to the safeguards outlined in the Data Protection Bill are a frivolous attempt to circumnavigate the legislation for their own purposes.
Also covered by the Independent
 
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