February 1, 2019 / 11:32 AM / 14 days ago

UK Brexit campaign Leave.EU fined for unlawful marketing

A cake waits to be cut at a Leave.eu party after polling stations closed in the Referendum on the European Union in London, Britain, June 23, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said on Friday it had fined the EU referendum campaign Leave.EU and Brexit supporter Arron Banks’s Eldon Insurance 120,000 pounds ($156,768) for serious breaches of electronic marketing laws.

The ICO said Leave.EU and Eldon Insurance were closely linked, and systems for segregating the personal data of insurance customers and political subscribers were ineffective.

Eldon Insurance also carried out two unlawful direct marketing campaigns, which involved sending more than 1 million emails to Leave.EU subscribers without sufficient consent, the ICO said.

“It is deeply concerning that sensitive personal data gathered for political purposes was later used for insurance purposes; and vice versa,” said Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham. “It should never have happened.”

The total fine imposed on Leave.EU, which was set out in November, was reduced by 15,000 pounds after consideration of representations from the companies, the ICO said.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by James Davey

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