The 10 Step Guide For Political Campaigns

The Data Protection Commission (DPC) wishes to use this medium to inform all political parties in advance of the impending general elections to comply with their obligations under the Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843) on the processing and use of personal information.

What you must do to comply with the Data Protection Act, 2012

(1)  You  must register with the Commission if you hold, use, obtain, collect and process personal information. Some examples of personal information processed during political campaigns include  membership information, supporters, fans, volunteers, fund raisers, electorates, etc.

(2)  You must take into account the privacy of such individuals by applying the data protection principles. These are listed under Section 17 of Act 843 as follows:

    • Accountability
    • Lawfulness Of Processing
    • Specification Of Purpose
    • Compatibility Of Further Processing With Purpose Of Collection
    • Quality Of Information
    • Openness
    • Data Security Safeguards
    • Data Subject Participation.

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(3)  Ensure that  data processors (those who process personal information on behalf of organisations, political parties or candidates) put in adequate security safeguards to protect the personal information processed.

(4) Ensure that you  do not  provide, use, obtain, procure or provide information of an individual for the purposes of direct marketing without the prior written consent of that person.

(5)  Ensure that an individual is given access, at any time, to require that you do not use their personal information for political campaigning.

(6)  Be extremely careful when using 'viral marketing' that encourages individuals to contact friends and family on a political party or candidate’s behalf as a campaign strategy.

(7)  Do not attempt to obtain or use contact information from third parties.

(8)  Be aware that should the Commission receive any complaints from members of the public on these issues, an enforcement action will be taken against you.

(9)  Contact the Commission for compliance advice for elected representatives (MPs, party executives,etc) and their offices when you are handling constituency casework.

(10) Organisations, political parties or elected representatives must not use contact details obtained when carrying out constituency casework for direct marketing, unless they are sure that the individuals have given their prior written consent and would not object.

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