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'Hang Mike Pence': Twitter stops phrase trending after Capitol riot

Chant was heard in the US Capitol on Wednesday as pro-Trump mob, incited by the president, stormed the buildingTwitter stopped the phrase “Hang Mike Pence” trending on Saturday, but not before it trended on the social media platform in the aftermath of the company’s decision to suspend Donald Trump’s account. Related: Police arrest more Capitol rioters as details of violence and brutality emerge Continue reading…

Tory party illegally collected data on ethnicity of 10m voters, MPs told

Information commissioner says data was voluntarily deleted amid concerns about ‘weak’ enforcementThe Conservative party acted illegally when it collected data on the ethnic backgrounds of 10 million voters ahead of the 2019 general election, the information commissioner has told a committee of MPs.However, Elizabeth Denham insisted there had been no need to issue an enforcement notice against the party, as it had voluntary deleted the data it held after a “recommendation” from her office.Answering questions at a Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee meeting on Tuesday morning, Denham said that the Conservatives’ collection of estimated data on voters’ ethnic origin, religion, and country of birth had no legal basis.“We made the recommendation that they destroy the data because they didn’t have a legal basis to collect it,” she said, adding, under sustained questioning from the SNP MP John Nicolson: “It was illegal to collect the ethnicity data.”The breach was first highlighted in November in a report by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), assessing political parties’ compliance with data protection laws. It reported that the Conservatives had purchased so-called estimated onomastic data – which attempts to identify individuals’ ethnic origin, religion, country of birth and other characteristics, based on their first and last names – and appended it to the records of 10 million people.The Conservative party has a history of the controversial use of such data. In 2016, Zac Goldsmith’s Conservative party campaign for London mayor was accused of trying to exploit anti-Muslim sentiment among Hindu, Sikh and Tamil voters as he competed for votes with Labour’s Sadiq Khan, which Goldsmith denied.On Tuesday, Denham faced accusations from Nicolson that the ICO was “weak when it comes to enforcement”. No political party has been served an enforcement notice for its use of data, despite the ICO identifying a number of breaches by parties in its November report. Denham insisted that enforcement had not been necessary after parties voluntary complied with her recommendations.Jim Killock, the executive director of Open Rights Group, called for more clarity on the ICO’s role regarding political data collection. Continue reading…