Friday, 21 June 2013

HnH website data collection breaches European Data Protection Directive

Troubles continue to beset Hope not Hate Ltd as it was revealed that the Hope not Hate website is in
breach of the European Data Protection Directive, which requires users to give 'informed consent' before tracking cookies are installed by a website on their computer.

Its not these cookies we should worry
about. Have HnH been illegally
harvesting personal data?
The legislation, which was introduced to counter fears over the security of personal data and the danger to privacy, requires websites to seek consent before 'cookies' are stored on users computers. Regular internet users will be aware that since last summer, reputable websites have included a privacy disclaimer warning that cookies will be used and stating what use will be made of the data collected.

Hope not Hate's website contains no statement regarding data security on the use of cookies, although visitors to the site who check their computers afterwards will discover a number of cookies have been installed.

In the worst cases, cookies can be used to harvest sensitive personal data and to keep track of web browsing history. We call on Hope not Hate and their expensive (£5600/month) US based internet consultants at Blue State Digital to do two things.

The first is to ensure that their website complies with the requirements of the Data Protection Act and the European Data Protection Directive - we don't agree with the latter, but it is the law, and HnH have to abide by it the same as everybody else.

The second is to disclose exactly what sort of data they have been harvesting from visitors to their internet site. Nick Lowles should give a categorical statement about why they have been breaking the law, what personal information they have gathered if any, and how it has been used.

A statement of data handling and cookie policy is normal practise on the websites of most reputable organisations: will Hope not Hate join their ranks?

Anybody who thinks that Lowles is unlikely to obey they law and make a public disclosure can complain to their local police force, or to the Data Protection Commissioner.

1 comment:

  1. An in depth look at Hope Not Hate/Searchlight....Of interest to anyone that hasn't yet seen them...