As candidates and canvassers engage with voters there are particular data protection implications when contact is in the form of text messages, telephone calls, emails or fax as such communications may be considered “direct marketing” under the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003.
The guidance warns canvassers: "Only text, phone, email or fax individuals who consent (perhaps by party membership or having given their consent explicitly when canvassed), or who have renewed previously provided consent to contact regarding election matters from you or your party within the last 12 months (for example by not opting out when your party or the candidate issued marketing communications to them which provided them with an opt out mechanism)."
Further when making door-to-door calls, canvassers are reminded to "ensure proper safeguards are in place to accurately record and protect any data collected regarding political opinion".
Individuals who feel their rights are being infringed can complain to the Data Protection Commissioner, who may investigate the matter, and take whatever steps may be necessary to resolve it.
If you require further information or assistance in relation to this topic, please contact Conor Minogue.
15 February 2016