Eleven of Britain’s best-known charities have been fined for breaching data protection rules. Some were secretly subjecting millions of their donors to “wealth-screening” operations to target them for additional fundraising.
The Royal British Legion, Oxfam, Cancer Research UK and the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association are among those found by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to have broken privacy regulations.
The fines imposed do not reflect the severity of the offences committed, according to the ICO, because depriving charities of large sums would only inflict further distress on donors. The fines range from £18,000 for International Fund for Animal Welfare to £6,000 for Oxfam.
The charities were variously tracing and targeting new or lapsed donors by piecing together personal information obtained from other sources. Some were trading personal details with other charities, creating a large pool of donor data for sale.