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U.K. privacy watchdog warns political parties ahead of election

(Bloomberg) --The U.K.’s top privacy watchdog sent letters to the nation’s parties, warning them about the use of people’s data in their political campaigns ahead of next month’s general election.

Elizabeth Denham, head of the Information Commissioner’s Office, said parties must comply with data protection and electronic marketing laws. A probe by her office into the use of data analytics for political purposes last year found issues with the lack of transparency of profiling and the use of targeted advertising techniques in previous political campaigns.

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“People’s awareness of their data protection rights has never been greater, and their expectations that those rights are respected never higher,” said Denham in her letter, according to a statement on the ICO’s website on Tuesday. “Compliance with these laws is vital to the trust and confidence in the democratic system.”