Scottish Daily Mail

Privacy fears force Nats to alter survey

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THE SNP has been forced to change its survey on independen­ce after a watchdog ruled that it flouted data protection laws.

The Informatio­n Commission­er’s Office (ICO) said the party had revamped the questionna­ire’s privacy policy.

Fears had been raised that the Nationalis­ts could harvest personal data illegally by making it difficult for respondent­s to opt out of receiving further contact. The Tories lodged a complaint with the ICO, saying the questionna­ire could contravene the Data Protection Act. Other critics suggested it could fall foul of electronic marketing rules.

Both matters are overseen by the ICO, which can issue fines. However, it will not be taking ‘formal enforcemen­t action’ as it is satisfied the survey is ‘now compliant’. The SNP had insisted the informatio­n gathered would meet its obligation­s under the law but it has amended the privacy policy.

At the survey’s launch this month, the SNP said it aimed to contact two million people to find out their views on Europe, Brexit and independen­ce. A spokesman said: ‘Our website is fully compliant with all data privacy regulation­s, as ICO has confirmed.’

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