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Case Notes

Case Notes

This case related to DPP3 - Use of personal data

Case No.:2011C07

A councillor's office making publicity calls: should not use the contact information of citizens seeking assistance for election publicity purpose

The Complaint

The Complainant sought assistance from the regional office ("the Office") of a councillor ("the Councillor") concerning a cut in his government disability allowance, and provided his name and telephone number ("the Data") to the Office for handling of the case. Later, the Complainant received a call from the political party to which the Councillor belonged, inviting him to vote for a District Council Election candidate of that political party (who was also an assistant of the Councillor) ("the Candidate"). The Complainant filed a complaint with this Office accusing the Candidate of using the Data for electioneering purposes without the Complainant's consent.

In response to this Office' enquiry, the Candidate admitted that his electioneering volunteer had contacted those citizens who had connection with the Office (including the Complainant) for District Council Election publicity purposes, and that the Office had only verbally informed the Complainant that his personal data would be used for "information transmission" purposes when his data were originally collected.


Generally speaking, when people seeking assistance from a councillor's office provide their personal data for handling their complaints or requests, the data should not be used for election publicity programmes conducted by the office staff. Hence, the use of the Data for election publicity purposes by the Candidate was beyond the original purpose of collection of the same.

Following the recommendations of the Commissioner, the Candidate undertook that when collecting citizens’ personal data, the Office would provide them with a PICS stating the use of the data and would supervise its volunteers to ensure that they would not use the personal data for purposes unrelated to those stated in the PICS without the prescribed consent of the citizens.

uploaded on web in July 2013

Category : Provisions/DPPs/COPs/Guidelines : Topic/Subject Matter :