The real value of No 10 online petitions is revealed

A few days ago Iain Dale brought to my attention, first raised on Conservative Home, an issue to do with the Downing Street online petitions. He asked what control there would be over access to the millions e-mail addresses the government has now amassed.

Now we read that Tony Blair is to send an e-mail to the 1.5 million people who have signed on-line petitions.

So the real value of the petitions is shown. They are simply a tool for the Labour government to be able to get e-mail addresses so they can they be used to "persuade" us. In other words, they are to be used for political purposes.

I said I would never sign an on-line petition, and I won't, but I think it is time we all reminded people that by signing up they may start getting spam e-mails from the Labour government.


Stephen R said...

What will be interesting is whether Number 10 reads / responds to any of the replies they receive to their email. (Or, indeed, whether their server can cope.) I won't hold my breath!

Liam Murray said...

There are regulations that limit organisations who gather data in this way to no more than two subsequent communications to those email addresses.

However, I don't think there are any time limits applicable so a polite 'thanks for you views' on the road-pricing petition could easily be followed by another 'here'show great Labour is' email a month or so before the next election...!

Ryan Morrison said...

Completely agree - I was REALLY annoyed when I saw that the other day.

However I have very effective spam controls and I DO think that the petitions could be VERY useful as a publicity tool.

In the same way the Million Dollar Homepage worked because of publicity, so will the more popular petitions stand a chance of working because of buzz.