Tories send private voter data to offshore radio station

Iain Dale’s touting his new weekly slot on Telegraph TV:

This is the first episode of DALE’S TOURS, my new weekly slot for TELEGRAPH TV, in which I go round the country talking to Tory activists, councillors and candidates. It’s part of the RIGHT ON programme. This week I talked to Donald Potter, chairman of Crewe & Nantwich Conservatives.

Really, Iain – and did you manage to ask him how exactly his campaign team managed to send the names, addresses, telephone numbers, financial status and voting intentions of more than 8,000 local electors to a radio station on the Isle of Man:

The Information Commissioner is launching an investigation after the Conservatives accidentally sent details of 8,000 people to a radio station.

The e-mail sent contained the names, addresses, telephone numbers and intentions of voters in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election.

Deputy Information Commissioner David Smith said the disclosure, to Manx Radio, raised “serious concern”.

The Conservatives admitted a “mistake” had been made.

What my sources are telling me, but which the Beeb either don’t know or haven’t seen fit to publish, is that the information was contained in a total of six unprotected Microsoft Excel data files attached to an unencrypted e-mail and that its believed that this information, which reached the radio station in error, may have been intended for delivery to an offshore call centre.

It is also believed to be the case that the 8,000 voters, whose information the Tories ‘misplaced’, were not made aware in advance that their personal data could be sent offshore for processing.

An inquiry into the Tory’s blunder is now under way and will be conducted by the Office of the Information Commissioner.

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