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The Labour Party’s membership purge, which has seen it weed out 3,000 “infiltrators”, could be in breach of the Data Protection Act, legal experts have warned.
Labour has vetted new members by trawling social media sites for statements which make it clear they do not share its “aims and values”, as well as through data obtained from canvassing.
It has even named some individuals who had previously tweeted messages suggesting they are not party supporters.
Paul Bernal, law lecturer at the University of East Anglia, said: “The key thing is this is sensitive personal data, as it includes political opinions, defined in Section 2 of the Data Protection Act.” As such, he said, the data subject has to give explicit consent for their information to be processed.
“I suspect this is not legal and ethically it is definitely wrong. They are processing personal data and creating databases about people who cannot find out why they were rejected,” he said.