Feeds

Scottish nationalists on privacy rap

Connery calls over the line

Boost IT visibility and business value

The Information Commissioner has given the Scottish National Party (SNP) an official reprimand for using Sir Sean Connery to violate the privacy of its constituents with a plea for their votes in the 2005 general election.

The SNP had made unsolicited telephone marketing calls with a message recorded by celebrity nationalist Sir Sean Connery. It had offended the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (2003) by making wholly automated marketing calls.

It offended them further when Sir Sean's pleas for votes were made through the telephones of people who had registered with the Telephone Preference Service, a log that forbids telephone marketers from going anywhere near them.

This is not the first time Sir Sean's name has been linked to nuisance marketing in the name of the SNP. Last time it was spam-a-friend emails.

The SNP had appealed against the Information Commissioner's attempt to give it an Enforcement Notice, an official slap on the wrist. But the appeal was rejected by the Information Tribunal in Edinburgh last Wednesday, a decision that was published yesterday, and has been followed up with a smart rebuke. It appeared the SNP had tried to wriggle out of it by claiming a political party should have some sort of special privilege to trespass on people's privacy.

Deputy information commissioner Phil Jones said in a statement the decision had helped ensure political parties complied with the regulations.

"If [the SNP's] view that promotional calls by political parties are not direct marketing calls had been upheld, then neither they, nor any other political party, would have to take account of the rules on unsolicited marketing," he said.

Unscrupulous methods had allowed the SNP to bend the ear of more voters than it had ever managed by not sticking to the rules of decent conduct laid out by privacy laws. A spokeswoman said the party would not be seeking a further appeal.

Bruce Crawford MSP said in a statement how disappointed he was that the IC prevented political parties from using the "cost effective" and "quick" means to contact potential voters.

The party had received just four complaints "out of half a million calls", he said, adding that he had asked the IC in writing how it would see that the SNP's political rivals would keep within the regulations as well.

It is now a criminal offence for the SNP to break the enforcement notice. If it cannot make do without making unwanted telephone calls, it could always get around the system in the same way other unscrupulous marketers do, by having Sir Sean's recorded message dial in from some offshore haven.

The decision is expected to copied on the Information Tribunal's website soon. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?