Arron Banks, the insurers and my strange data trail

The Guardian

If a 29-year-old Peugeot 309 is the answer, it's fair to wonder: what on earth is the question? In fact, I had no idea about either the question or the answer when I submitted a "subject access request" to Eldon Insurance Services in December last year. Or that my car – a vehicle that dates from the last millennium – could hold any sort of clue to anything. If there's one thing I've learned, however, in pursuing the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it's that however weird things look, they can always get weirder. Because I was simply seeking information, as I have for the last 16-plus months, about what the Leave campaigns did during the referendum – specifically, what they did with data.


Leave. EU and Arron Banks insurance firm fined £120,000 for data breaches

The Guardian

The information commissioner has launched an audit into Leave.EU and the insurance company owned by the campaign's key financial backer, Arron Banks, after fining the organisations a total of £120,000 for data protection violations during the EU referendum campaign. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) announced in November that it intended to fine the two companies, which it determined were closely linked, with "ineffective" systems for segregating the data of insurance customers from that of political subscribers. Leave.EU was fined £15,000 for using Eldon Insurance customers' details unlawfully to send almost 300,000 political marketing messages, and a further £45,000 for its part in sending an Eldon marketing campaign to political subscribers. Eldon was fined £60,000 for the latter violation. The fine for Leave.EU's marketing campaign was £15,000 less than the ICO had initially proposed, after the regulator took account of representations made by the company.


ICO to audit Leave.EU and Eldon Insurance

#artificialintelligence

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is to review how an EU referendum campaign and an insurance company are complying with data protection laws after fining the organisations a total of £120,000 for serious breaches of electronic marketing laws. The ICO announced an audit and issued a preliminary enforcement notice as well as three notices of intent to fine Leave.EU and Eldon Insurance – trading as Go Skippy Insurance – in November 2018 as part of its investigation into data analytics for political purposes. After considering the companies' representations, the ICO has issued the fines, confirming a change to one amount, with the other two remaining unchanged. The regulator has also issued two assessment notices to Leave.EU and Eldon Insurance to inform both organisations that they will be audited. The ICO investigation found that Leave.EU and Eldon Insurance were closely linked and that systems for segregating the personal data of insurance customers from that of political subscribers were ineffective.


Leave.EU and Arron Banks insurance firm face £135,000 in fines

BBC News

Pro-Brexit campaign group Leave.EU and an insurance company owned by its founder Arron Banks face total fines of £135,000 over breaches of data laws. It follows an Information Commissioner investigation into the misuse of personal data by political campaigns. The report says more than a million emails sent to Leave.EU subscribers contained marketing for the Eldon Insurance firm's GoSkippy services. Mr Banks defended himself on Twitter after the report's release. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), he said, had found "we may have accidentally sent a newsletter to customers" but "no evidence of a grand data conspiracy".


Cambridge Analytica created own quizzes to harvest Facebook data

#artificialintelligence

Controversial data mining company collected information on at least 87 million Facebook users. LONDON -- Cambridge Analytica created its own Facebook quizzes and questionnaires to collect reams of data on users using the social networking giant, according to a former senior official at the data mining company. Brittany Kaiser, the former director of program development at Cambridge Analytica, told British lawmakers on Tuesday that the company, which is at the center of a broader Facebook data scandal, widely used such practices, including a "sex compass" quiz, to garner insight on people's online habits. These data-collection strategies made it highly likely that more people's Facebook data had been collected without their knowledge than previously thought, according to Kaiser. Cambridge Analytica is already accused of using a third-party app created by Aleksandr Kogan, a Cambridge University professor, to collect online information on up to 87 million Facebook users.