Labour warned by ICO in 2016 not to allow its OWN candidates access to data

A huge furore has erupted among Labour members about the illegal release of their data to Gerard Coyne, which he has used in his campaign to become General Secretary of the Unite union. Coyne admitted today on live radio that his campaign had used data received from the Labour Party – although he tried, wrongly. to claim this was ‘agreed’ and ‘legitimate’.

mcnicol coyne.png
Iain McNicol and Gerard Coyne

The Labour staff or officials involved in the breach have no excuse – because the party was formally warned by the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office in 2016 that it could not even release data to candidates in Labour’s own internal elections, such as last year’s leadership contest:

ico warning

This means that every Labour member whose data was released to the Coyne campaign has been a victim of an illegal abuse of their privacy – regardless of whether they are Unite members or not.

There is no ‘wiggle room’ on this for Labour General Secretary Iain McNicol or any other official responsible for investigating this matter and punishing those responsible – nor for the ICO to do less than the maximum its powers allow to ensure that this happens.

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  1. I have just received a reply from the ICO and amongst the info it says “Copied correspondence – we do not respond to correspondence that has been copied to us.”

    Just wanted to let you know

    Many thanks

    Kevin Minnette

    Sent from Outlook


      1. Excuse my ignorance but what does this mean?
        “Copied correspondence – we do not respond to correspondence that has been copied to us.”

  2. I think this should also concern people such as I who have contributed funds to gain a vote in leadership elections.

  3. Iain McNicol is responsible for these email lists.

    He is either incompetent or he is intentionally breaching the Data Protection Act.

    So, he is either incapable of carrying out the duties of the role or he is unfit to be the General Secretary of the Labour Party.

    Either way, he must be removed as a matter of urgency before he does any further damage to the Labour Party.

    There are several excellent women candidates to replace him.

    He would be well advised to do the honourable thing and step down so that the party can have a competent General Secretary in place for the 2017 Conference in September.

    It is time for Iain McNicol to place the party’s interests before his own.

  4. Just had my reply too:

    Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office. We confirm that we have received your correspondence.

    We don’t monitor this email address, so please don’t respond directly to this email.

    If you have raised a new information rights concern -Thanks for sending your complaint to us. What we’ll do next is consider the information that you’ve shared with us, and allocate the case to an officer. Please note that if you are concerned about the way an organisation is handling your personal information, we will not usually look into it unless you have raised it with the organisation first. For more information please see our webpage ‘raising a concern with an organisation’. If you have a final response from the organisation but haven’t sent that to us, then please do so. It will help us in dealing with your complaint. You will be assigned a case officer as soon as we can, and they will contact you about the case in due course.

    If you have requested advice – we aim to respond within 14 days.

    If you have reported receiving spam email – we will use the information you have provided to identify, investigate and take action against organisations that are not following the rules around direct marketing. We don’t respond to such concerns individually, so please note that we’re unlikely to contact you about this matter again, unless we need any further information to help with our investigations.

    If you have made a request for information held by the ICO – we will contact you if we need any further information to help us answer your request. If we don’t need any further information we will respond to you within our published, and statutory, service levels. For more information please visit our webpage ‘access information about the ICO’.

    If your correspondence relates to an existing case – we will add it to your case and consider it on allocation to a case officer.

    Copied correspondence – we do not respond to correspondence that has been copied to us.

    For more information about our services, please see our webpage ‘service standards and what to expect’ (go to our homepage and follow the links for ‘Report a concern’ and ‘Service standards and what to expect’). You can also call the number below.

    If you have a matter you would like to discuss with us, please call our helpline on 0303 123 1113 (local rate). We welcome calls in Welsh on 029 2067 8400.

    Yours sincerely

    The Information Commissioner’s Office

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