data protection act

Hootsuite followup: reporting them to the ICO

This is a follow-up to my post about my experience with Hootsuite, who stored my credit card details without my consent. We hit a deadlock because they repeatedly refused my requests for some contact details so I could get in touch with them. They kept asking for my contact details, but I was reluctant to engage with them on such one-sided terms, especially when my whole problem is with their misuse of the information I’ve already supplied.


The eye-opening tale of the mum treated like a shoplifter has received a lot of internet attention since she posted it yesterday. For those who haven’t read it: woman is grabbed by a Tesco security guard who accuses her of stealing shampoo and won’t listen to her protestations of innocence, then released without apology when the accusation turns out to be complete rubbish.

How implicit consent works for them and not us

I recently wrote about data protection, arguing that organisations don’t grasp the idea that adults can live together and make shared decisions. The default assumption is that you do not consent to any third party ringing up about your account, and it’s usually impossible to prove your consent without putting in more effort than it would take to make the call yourself in the first place.

When a connection is made

Today I was having problems with the home internet connection. Not only am I a member of the over-privileged web generation, I’m also a freelancer who works from home a lot. So this was a big deal. I rang O2 to find out what was going on.

I’m impressed with how quickly I got through to their British-based call centre. Yes, there was the usual automated phone-answering system, but this one wasn’t too bad, and I got through to the correct human within minutes.