Lord Puttnam CBE
Select Committee on Democracy and Digital Technologies
House of Lords
London SW1A 0PW
28 May 2020
Denise Baron is currently on furlough leave, and as a result I shall be providing a response to your letter of 23 March. My role during the election was Head of Digital, and as such I am able to speak on these matters.
I would like to respond to the specific points you have raised in your letter individually:
Purchase of information from data brokers or social listening tools
I can confirm that we did not use any data brokers’ services or social listening tools with regard to our digital campaign in the 2019 election. It was our judgement that using data brokers’ services for the digital campaign would not be GDPR compliant, and therefore unsuitable for online campaigning, and that social listening tools would be of limited value to our campaign objectives.
Regarding transparency of political advertising
We do not have a preferred model in this area.
Information Commissioner and conflating political and commercial data protection and privacy law
Unfortunately I cannot see the point to which you are referring in Denise’s response on this issue. Could you clarify what this relates to?
I hope that provides the required clarity on the initial two points. I am happy to come back on the third point if you could provide the additional clarification.
Head of Digital Communications, Liberal Democrats.