Saturday 21 October 2017

Data Commissioner warns election candidates against 'Direct Marketing'

Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon. Photo: Frank McGrath
Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon. Photo: Frank McGrath

Barry Lennon

Data Commissioner Helen Dixon warned candidates running in the up-coming General Election who canvass using the phone, email or text as it could be seen as “direct marketing.”

The Commissioner said that contacting the electorate could have data protection implications, if consent was not given by voters in guidelines published on the body’s website.

“In any democracy, candidates must be empowered to engage with the voters whom they

wish to represent,” she said in a statement.

“However, there are obvious potential data protection implications to canvassing, particularly when it takes the form of contact by text, phone call, email or fax which constitutes direct marketing.

“In light of this, I am issuing guidance to every candidate running for election. The material has also been uploaded to dataprotection.ie.”

In the guidelines, candidates were also warned to inform users if campaign websites used cookies, an online application which collects information from individuals.

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