Experian Snubs Brexit Party Despite Working With Labour and Tories

Amid the perennial spectacle of Carole Cadwalladr trying to milk the activities of a small over-hyped data company for all it’s worth, the tinfoil hat brigade have been remarkably unfussed about an organisation that has been amassing one of the largest databases of personal information in the UK for over 30 years. They claim to process a staggering 750 million data records from 600 sources about UK citizens each month, holding data on 51 million individuals in Britain. They’ve also regularly run data-driven marketing campaigns for the Labour Party for over a decade, culminating in a major data scandal last year. The credit rating agency Experian…

They even boast of being able to provide “actionable insight on every UK consumer, household and location” – exactly the sort of ‘micro-targeting’ that normally gets Carole’s antennae spinning like a washing machine. Top tip for “fearless investigative journalists”: micro-targeting by Obama or the Labour Party = good, microtargeting by Leavers or Tories = bad.

Experian claim that their data “segments UK consumers through financial behaviour, demographic classification, digital behaviour and buying habits”, giving their clients the opportunity to tailor marketing campaigns using 500+ variables. Clearly they’re happy for corporates and political parties to “meet your data self” too, for the right price…

When they’re not running their irritating “data self” ads, Experian have also done work for the Tories and the Better Together campaign in the 2014 Scottish referendum, while they still host Labour’s main ‘Contact Creator’ database. So the Brexit Party were surprised to find that when they approached Experian as well, they initially made good progress in their discussions before unexpectedly being told:

“Experian has taken the decision to not provide services to any organisation which is explicitly campaigning for or against Britain’s exit from the European Union. As a consequence we are not able to help you on this occasion.”

Presumably they’ll be immediately cancelling all of their lucrative contracts with the officially Remain-campaigning Labour Party too then…

Tech News Links

Tip offs: 020 7193 4041

Quote of the Day

Dr Alexander Kogan, the app developer who originally harvested the Facebook data, said…

“I think what Cambridge Analytica has tried to sell is magic and made claims this is incredibly accurate and it tells you everything there is to tell about you. But I think the reality is it’s not that. If you sit down and you really work through the statistics and you think what does a correlation of point three means, those claims quickly fall apart. And that’s something any person with a statistical background can go and do.”


Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.