What do UK political parties know about you?

Political parties collect and are allowed to use the personal data of millions of people to help in their campaigns. Find out what they know about you and get control of your data.

Why should I find out what British political parties know about me?

Many people have signed up to, or expressed interest in a wide variety of political campaigns and movements over time. You should find out what information British political parties have about you so that you know what they have on you and how they are using it.

Whilst the parties are allowed to access the electoral register, which they use as a ‘spine’ to which they attach anything else they can find, events such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal that embroiled the Conservative party revealed an abuse of personal data, and it may only be the tip of the iceberg. Facebook, also part of the same scandal, passes detailed information about individuals on to political parties.

What personal data do political parties typically store?

When you interact with their websites, like most organisations they collect:

  • Name and address
  • Tastes and habits
  • Contact details
  • Cookies & IP address
  • Economic, social and cultural information
  • Employment status
  • Income
  • Presence or absence of children in the household age
  • Family structure
  • Level of educational achievement
  • Onomastic data (looking at names to guess other characteristics) to identify gender

They also collect information by postcode, by household, and by person to better understand and predict voter patterns and interests.

How do I find out what information UK political parties have about me?

The easiest way to find out where your information is by sending a ‘subject access request’ through Rightly. A subject access request allows you to see any personal information a company has stored about you.

You can pick from our list of political parties and websites and send an access request, or if you can't find the one you want, you can search on our main subject access request page. And of course our customer support team is ready to help!

Some common questions

How do I send a subject access request (SAR)?

The easiest way to find your information is by sending a request through Rightly:

  • Search for any company
  • Enter your basic details so that they can confirm your identity
  • Check your email and send your request

What can you expect after you send your request?

Your request simply connects you to all of the companies or organisations you select. They’ll link you to their own forms and processes for you to complete. Only your name and email address is required to send these requests, but companies will likely ask you for more information to make sure you're you.

They should confirm what personal information of yours they have within 30 days.

So I don't need a subject access request template?

No - they tend to be of varying quality and take a lot of effort. That's why we made Rightly, so that things can be as safe and time-effective as possible for you to have more control over your data.

How long until a company responds to my request?

After the company has received your request, they have to reply in full within 30 days, or give a valid reason for asking for an extension. However, we're glad to say that most companies normally reply within a week.

Responses from companies are likely to come directly into your inbox.

If you have any questions, or have any difficulty at all with how companies respond, our friendly support team is here to help!

What if they don't reply?

They have to reply by law. You can ask any company if they have your personal data, even if you don't know for sure whether or not they have it. They have to tell you what they have, as well as how and why they are using it. This is thanks to your ‘right of access’ under GDPR law.

How long can a company store my data for?

There is no specific time limit on how long a company can hold your personal data. Under GDPR, your information should simply not be kept for any longer than necessary.

While a company should be able to justify the length of time that your data is stored, whether or not this is acceptable depends on what the data was collected for in the first place.

For instance, a company can keep hold of employment contract data for a total of 6 years since this is the window of time in which a contract breach claim could be made.

However, when it comes to job applicant CVs for example, these can only be stored for a maximum of 6 months, based on this being the length of time in which a candidate could file a discrimination claim.