Emma’s Diary data breach – over one million users’ data sold
In the run up to the 2017 General Election, Lifecycle Marketing (Mother and Baby) Ltd, also known as Emma’s Diary, sold over one million users’ data to Experian’s Marketing Division. This data was then used to create a database which was used by the Labour Party to profile new mothers.
This data included various pieces of personal information such as the names of parents who had downloaded the app, their home addresses, the presence of children under the age of five and the date of birth of those children.
The Labour Party also used this information to send targeted direct mail to mothers who were living in areas with marginal seats about its intention to protect Sure Start Children’s centres.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fined Emma’s Diary £140,000. Elizabeth Denham, the Information Commissioner, stated:
The relationship between data brokers, political parties and campaigns is complex. Even though this company was not directly involved in political campaigning, the democratic process must be transparent.
All organisations involved in political campaigning must use personal information in ways that are transparent, lawful and understood by the UK public.
While the ICO demonstrated that it is able to impose heavy fines on any businesses who are found to be in breach of data protection regulations, they do not award any compensation to victims – including in this instance.
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