EXCLUSIVE: Norfolk MP’s data breach accidentally sets up campaign to oust him

A careless mistake by Norfolk MP has not only breached the data regulations, but also accidentally brought together an angry group of his voters, keen to see him gone.

Richard Bacon data breach
Richard Bacon is responsible for a data breach. Photo by David Woolfall on Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

A Norfolk MP’s breach of data protection laws has inadvertently put angry voters in touch with one another, and they are considering setting up a group to vote him out.

Richard Bacon is the MP for South Norfolk.  A number of dissatisfied constituents wrote to him over the government’s performance in the past week, and in replying he sent out a ‘round robin’, a single response sent to all those who had complained.  First reports suggest it involved about 20 people.

This constitutes a breach of the law on data protection, in that private details have been wrongly circulated to others.  Mr Bacon appears to have quickly realised this and has written to them again, declaring that he would report himself to the data watchdog.

“You will have received an earlier email from this office which contained a number of email addresses,” he wrote.  “Please delete this immediately and do not use or share any of the data contained within.  A report is being submitted to the ICO relating to this incident.”

Data breach created an activist group to oust him

But ironically, that original email has put all those dissatisfied voters who wrote to him in touch with one other.  One wrote to EAB to explain:

So many constituents have written to him asking him questions or to direct our displeasure/anger at what the government is doing, or not doing, and it’s became apparent there’s been a data breach. His office has released all our email addresses out into the ether.

Anyhow, it has inadvertently put us in contact with each other and it has become apparent that Mr Bacon seems to have barely replied to any us when we have written to him. I myself have written to him more than 10 times and he has only replied once. He doesn’t even have the decency to acknowledge that I have written to him, and it seems this has been happening to many others too.

“Right now there are many angry people in his constituency. Since the breach many disgruntled people have aired their unhappiness at the lack of communication from Mr Bacon. It shows a disdain for his constituents and seemingly a dereliction of duty.

Another of those voters involved adds:

“One reports never getting an audience with Richard Bacon despite many requests.  Add me to that.  Talk of a unity candidate to get him out.”

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