As the SKWAWKBOX showed on Saturday, there is evidence that Labour’s right-leaning HQ may be ‘data-scraping’ Labour members’ social media accounts – collating even social media accounts that do not use an email address that is registered with the party.
There are serious concerns among members that this is in preparation for a further ‘purge’ of left-wing members at some future point – and, as members have by definition given no permission for such unconnected data to be used, that it constitutes a breach of the DPA (Data Protection Act).
As a result of that article, more members have come forward with details of their experiences and concerns – experiences that not only support the likelihood that Labour is engaged in accessing and collating social media data that members have not provided, let alone given the party permission to use – but also that make clear the psychological impact it is having on some members.
Below is a typical account received from a SKWAWKBOX reader:
I was so paranoid last year about being purged for being a Corbyn supporter, that I set up a new email address on my FB account. I then received Labour emails to my new email address.
It made me wonder how on earth they had my new email address. The whole fear of being purged definitely impacted on my mental health and has permanently changed my online behaviour.
I have never been abusive or spent my time slagging MPs off online so I shouldn’t have anything to worry about but I still find myself censoring what I do write as it feels like Big Brother is always looking over my shoulder, which is awful when you think about it.
Last year, a Labour compliance officer told a member complaining about the accessing of her private social media:
Anything on the internet is accessible if you know the right codes to put in.
You can listen to the full conversation below:
The party denied that it was using any codes to access members’ private data, but these renewed reports yesterday and today raise fresh concerns.
The SKWAWKBOX will be contacting Labour and the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) about this tomorrow and will post further information as soon as available.
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