When you give an organisation your data, you do so in the knowledge that it will use your personal information for a specific purpose. A bank, for example, is only allowed to use your data for activities which you might reasonable expect it to pursue when you hand it over – such as managing your account, and marketing its services to you. If it suddenly takes up a different direction, beyond what it said the data was for at the time you provided it, then it might be in breach of data protection laws.

For perfectly valid reasons, some Conservatives will have signed up to Open Britain, the rebranded Remain campaign. Perhaps they agreed with one or more of its aims when it was (re-)launched – supporting a unilateral pledge to give the EU citizens the automatic right to remain in the UK, for example, or opposing changes to employment legislation. They might reasonably have wanted to support a “cross-party” pressure group making the case for a specific type of Brexit.

More than a few such subscribers to Open Britain have been surprised, therefore, to find that the organisation is now actively campaign for and against particular candidates in the General Election. Indeed, the Conservative MPs who put their names to it have withdrawn their support because “it is untenable for us to play any further role in an organisation, such as Open Britain, which is advocating campaigning against Conservative MPs or candidates”. Evidently their reasonable expectation when they joined was not that Open Britain would morph into a campaign for tactical voting against fellow Conservative candidates, or they wouldn’t have signed up in the first place.

Any readers finding themselves in this situation, who feel that the Open Britain now emailing them urging them to campaign against Conservative candidates is no longer the non-partisan pressure group they signed up to, might wish to consider making a complaint to the Information Commissioner, who guards against possible misuses of personal data.