Queen Will Have to Go On Gamblers’ Register

The Information Commissioner’s Office has announced that as part of their pursuit of a “Single View of the Customer” (SVoC), it is their intention that all “behavioural data” of gamblers will be shared from a centralised store. The genesis of the SVoC, which began in November 2020, was to ensure bookies and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) together with the Gambling Commission had an overview of customer data, which would help identify problem gamblers before they become an issue. Why this role has fallen to the Information Commissioner* is not clear to Guido.

In summary:

  • Bookies will be forced to share “behavioural data” of current customers with other gambling firms and the government-run ICO and Gambling Commission.
  • The ICO has said it expects – in addition to behavioural data – for the Gambling Commission to collect “credit reference data on personal income.”
  • Any gambler who has more than one gambling account will be added to a register of gamblers, which all operators and government will have access to.

The SVoC plan poses a clear and unprecedented level of privacy infringement. Bookies will be forced to share personal data with government agencies, including: how much is deposited, where people live, names, addresses. This will develop into the government having the power to oversee credit-referenced data and, ultimately, decide if the person can gamble. Regular gamblers, like the Queen, will have to be on the government’s gamblers’ register just to have a flutter on the Derby. 

There is a question about the safety of the incredibly sensitive data on the register – which would be an incredibly valuable marketing resource for unscrupulous, unregulated online operators. The government has not shown itself to be a reliable guardian of personal data.

If this totalitarian piece of social control becomes a reality, where does it end? Pub-goers on a drinkers’ register to ascertain if they are problem drinkers? Supermarket cash tills linked to store loyalty cards blocking the purchase of sugary products for the overweight? Just because we have the technology to do it, doesn’t mean it is in the wider public interest. The small minority of problem gamblers do not make it in the public interest to heavily regulate the 99% of people who don’t have a gambling problem.

*Am told because they are the guardians of GDPR they had to give permission for the Gambling Commission to do this or else it would be in breach of data protection regulations.
mdi-timer 19 October 2021 @ 15:34 19 Oct 2021 @ 15:34 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Police Did Not Pursue ICO LibDem Investigation Referral Further

The answer to a Written Question yesterday by Stoke MP Jack Brereton has revealed that the police did not pursue the ICO’s referral of the Liberal Democrats over mishandling data during the EU referendum. In 2018, the ICO referred the matter to the police when they received a serious allegation that the LibDems sold private data to the BSE Remain Campaign for £100,000. The case was referred to the Metropolitan Police on 26 October 2018 as the issues fell outside the jurisdiction of the ICO, yet the Met simply said that they were unable to consider it any further.

Guido feels that many will be surprised when they contrast the Met’s decision to not pursue the conduct of an established political party who intended to take part in future elections, with their repeated actions towards an individual in his 20s who has not taken part in any further elections. Some might be inclined to think double standards have been applied…

mdi-timer 15 October 2020 @ 16:26 15 Oct 2020 @ 16:26 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Hunt Reported to Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Over MP Mailshot

Entrepreneur Jeremy Hunt has been coming up with some enterprising strategies to try to reach as many voters as possible in the Tory leadership election. Tory Association Chairmen across the country have been receiving an email from his campaign manager Philip Dunne MP, asking them to forward on two attachments detailing his ten policy pledges to their local memberships. A savvy way to get round GDPR regulations, if the Association Chairmen oblige…

Now he’s found himself in a bit of hot water over a letter he sent to all Tory MPs earlier in the campaign, on the 10th June when the MP voting stage was still in full swing. Hunt used official House of Commons headed letter paper complete with his picture and official campaign slogan in the corner – he’s now been reported to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards by Priti Patel for misuse of Commons stationery. Priti says it could be a “clear breach of Parliamentary rules” which specifically prohibit its use for party political purposes and has asked them to clarify the matter. Awkward…

Read the letter in full below…

UPDATE: Sam Coates has got hold of a separate set of emails which appear to show Hunt’s campaign directly violating data rules. Hunt’s team have been sending out apologies and removing people from distribution lists and say the emails were sent out “mistakenly”. Did they “mistakenly” gather the private phone numbers and email addresses too?

UPDATE: Andrew Bridgen has reported the Hunt campaign to the Information Commissioner’s Office over the alleged data breach. Team Hunt already did the same thing to Team Boris earlier this week via Harriett Baldwin, leadership contest getting dirtier…

Read More

mdi-timer 5 July 2019 @ 17:25 5 Jul 2019 @ 17:25 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Jo Swinson Apologises for Mailshot Breach

Jo Swinson’s in a bit of hot water after reports her campaign spammed a load of Lib Dem members with a mailshot when they’d specifically opted out of being contacted. No doubt the ICO will take this breach as seriously as if Brexiteers had done it…

mdi-timer 30 June 2019 @ 13:15 30 Jun 2019 @ 13:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Clegg: ‘Absolutely No Evidence’ Russia Influenced Brexit

Carole Cadwalladr and David Lammy have been spluttering furiously into their cornflakes all morning after Nick Clegg told the Today Programme that there was “absolutely no evidence” that Russia or Cambridge Analytica influenced Brexit. Clegg said “we have a duty to explain fact from some of the allegations that have been made”. Clearly not a duty that Carole has ever felt bound by herself

“Much though I understand why people want to reduce that eruption in British politics to some kind of plot or conspiracy, some use of new social media through opaque means, I’m afraid the roots to British euroscepticism go very, very deep…”

Never mind the fact that the official report from the Information Commissioner’s Office already crushed all of Carole’s grand conspiracies about Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and Brexit, raising questions about her pet whistleblower Chris Wylie instead. Clegg hasn’t triggered anyone this badly since tuition fees…

If she wants to start addressing disinformation on social media she could start with her own Observer ‘scoop’ over the weekend in which she deliberately mistranscribes a video of Steve Bannon talking about Boris. Bannon says “we went back and forth over text”, instead Carole transcribes this as “back and forth over the text” which then forms the crux of her story. The same people who’d be the first to say Bannon is a pathological liar are now taking an entirely unsubstantiated boast from him as the gospel truth before distorting it even further themselves…

mdi-timer 24 June 2019 @ 10:26 24 Jun 2019 @ 10:26 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
“Vindictive” ICO Hits Vote Leave With £40,000 Fine For Not Having Data They Agreed to Delete

The state’s war of attrition against Brexit is continuing to grind on with the Information Commissioner’s Office today taking the decision to slap Vote Leave with a monster fine of £40,000. The ICO’s justification for the fine was that Vote Leave had violated data protection laws because were unable to prove that text messages sent to voters had been done with their consent. The reason Vote Leave were unable to prove it was specifically because they deleted their entire database after the vote as agreed with the ICO before the referendum. A truly Kafka-esque perversion of justice…

The ICO’s best practice guidelines say that data controllers should delete data once it is no longer serving the purpose for which is collected, hence why Vote Leave specified in their data policy that they would delete all the data after the referendum. Meanwhile the Remain campaign – now in its third different incarnation as People’s Vote – kept its entire database from the referendum campaign and has continued to pump out messages to its database on an almost daily basis since the referendum. Funnily enough the regulators don’t have a problem with that…

A Vote Leave spokesman slammed the “vindictive” decision from the ICO, saying that it just “shows their desperation to pin something on us after we had rebutted all of their other ludicrous theories”:

“Fewer than 20 people made complaints about the 196,000 text messages we sent during the referendum campaign. This is far lower than the commercial texting campaigns who have previously been fined by the ICO. Vote Leave was operating in a highly political environment, which makes false allegations much more likely. It is therefore highly likely that the tiny number of people who complained to the ICO were doing so for political purposes.

“The ICO took over two years to bring these complaints to our attention, when they could easily have done so in the summer of 2016. Unlike the Stronger In campaign, we deleted all of our data after the referendum as agreed with the ICO, so their decision to prosecute us now feels particularly vindictive.

“Both during and after the referendum, Vote Leave complied with both the letter and spirit of the law. We have exchanged 46 letters with the ICO since the referendum, most of them refuting conspiracy theories peddled by people unhappy with the referendum result. To be fined £40,000 for fewer than 20 complaints which they were aware of over two years ago, shows their desperation to pin something on us after we had rebutted all of their other ludicrous theories.”

Brexiteers who think that Brexit will somehow come out more to their liking after a two-year delay or a second referendum only need to look at the way Brexit campaigners have been relentlessly pursued since the referendum to see how it will play out in reality. It’s now or never for Brexit…

mdi-timer 19 March 2019 @ 14:16 19 Mar 2019 @ 14:16 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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