The Information Commissioner’s Office has fined leading “baby club” Emma’s Diary £140,000 after it shared records with the data broking firm Experian.
It was they who sold it to Jeremy Corbyn’s party, “without informing those individuals that it might do so”, according to the data watchdog.
Emma’s Diary, who offers pregnant women and new parents health advice and gifts, recorded each mother’s name, their address, the date of birth of the mother and child, and how many children under five were present in the home.
Labour then used it in a direct marketing mail campaign in more than 100 constituencies ahead of last June’s snap election.
The party enjoyed a much better-than-expected result at the ballot box, picking up an extra 30 seats as Theresa May lost her overall majority.
In response the company, registered as Lifecycle Marketing (Mother and Baby) Ltd, told the Information Commissioner users had signed off on the usage of the data.
In its ruling it said the disclosure “risked causing distress to some affected data subjects”.
It added that any of the mothers could “reasonably infer that the Labour party was subjecting her to a degree of profiling for political ends and without her knowledge”.
Experian later deleted the records, and there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by them or by Labour – who welcomed the report.
A spokesman for the party said: “We have neither bought nor used Emma’s Diary data since the 2017 general election and we will be reviewing our approach to acquiring data from third parties in light of the ICO’s report,”
Emma’s Diary, who disputed the findings, added: “We are deeply disappointed by the ICO’s decision to publish a report including details of enforcement action intended to be taken against Lifecycle Marketing.
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