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The truths they don't want you to read....

Friday, March 23, 2012

Who has your name and personal details?

The Information Commissioner was established to protect individuals from organisations who took personal information and tried to use it for their own personal gain.

I've blogged on this topic many times before, and yet the same culprits reappear, thinking that the law doesn't apply to them.  You will remember the denial of any responsibility, followed by the swift registration.

The Register of Data Controllers is available here, and you can easily check for eligible organisations by searching by postcode.

So when  voter gets the following through his mail box...

With this document
 and a return address of this

Which given that the Western Isles Constituency SNP are not a registered Data Controller, means that this mailshot is illegal.  Again.

But that's not all, the Electoral Commission have issued guidance for Political Parties after it appear that (particularly Asian) families were being forced to hand over real and fraudulent postal votes to political parties.

The guidance is very clear, and reads:
Candidates and canvassers are advised:
  • not to handle or help voters complete their postal ballot papers;
  • to encourage voters to post or deliver ballot papers themselves;
  • if asked to take a completed ballot paper to make sure that the voter has sealed it first, and to post or return it to the Returning Officer immediately;
  • to ensure that voters complete ballot papers in secret and seal them personally; and
  • not to solicit completed postal ballot papers from electors.
Obviously with special exclusions for Lochs and Harris.  Although voters may wish to test this by complaining to the Information Commissioner.

Of course, opposing candidates may wish to point out to the Returning Officer that the cost of building this database of 16,000 (?) voters should be spread over the election expenses of each of the SNP Candidates - along with postage and printing.  Alternatively, the database was provided in breach of the Data Protection Act by a Data Controller.

In addition, as the SNP Council web site claims to have been commercially produced by a web design company, then a share of that cost too, needs to be added.  Unless the web designer is lying about his clients.

Still, as Stornoway resident Philip McLean said, I am the enemy within


Anonymous said...

Angus you have a huge chip on your shoulder. Why didn't you mention the Labour, Tory and Lib/Dems?

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting for you to explain exactly what direct relevance the guidance you've highlighted in red, which pertains to actual ballot papers, has to the 'application to vote by post' form?

Anonymous said...

8:49 - resident SNP cybernut/nat.

Kevin Paterson said...

Political parties have unrestricted access to the full electoral register for electoral purposes which includes contacting individuals on the list by post. This is under the Representation of the People Act and is something we do at every election.

As well as asking people on the doors and phone if they want a postal vote we regularly mail our supporters to see if they would like a postal vote. 80% of postal voters use their vote and postal voters are 3 times more likely to cast a vote.

Political Parties are also given information like the absent voters and the marked register to encourage people to register to vote and cast their ballot, this is under the Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Act 2006.

There is a postal vote code of conduct that all political parties have signed up to.

Sections 12 and 13:
Because of the risk of suspicions that the application may be altered and the risk of the application form being delayed or lost in transit, the local Electoral Registration Officer’s address should be the preferred address given for the return of application forms.

13 If an intermediary address is used, forms should be despatched unaltered to the relevant Electoral Registration Officer’s address within two working days of receipt.

Just to clear up any misgivings this is perfectly OK (if slightly frowned upon) way of providing postal vote forms.

Anonymous said...

KP your nuts

Dr Evadne said...

Okay Kevin, can you let us know if it is in order for Cllr Maclean to stand in the Harris and South Lochs ward, when he is a resident of Stornoway? I would have thought he would have more fun standing against Angus Campbell in Stornoway. We can only assume that he has run all the this by the Returning Officer and it is all above board but not exactly, in a round about sort of way.

Kevin Paterson said...

It is perfectly in order for Mr. Maclean to stand in any western Isles ward he wishes. It is up to the people of South Lochs whether they vote for him or not.
@anonymous my you take me back to my Primary School days KP nuts very original. Can't beat a bit of dry (roasted?) humour.
By the way that was the Labour Party advice I posted the SNP would be the same though I'm sure. If you have a worry about your postal vote form then you can cancel it at any time. Also no party should ask for your postal ballot paper or even to post it for you.