In The Media

Smith campaign blames contractor for unsolicited email blast

by Meghan Potkins (feat. Tom Keenan)

Calgary Herald
October 10, 2017

Mayoral candidate Bill Smith says a third-party contractor working for his campaign is to blame for an unsolicited email blast that went out to a number of people in Calgary.

Smith said he was prompted to look into the incident after he heard about complaints from people surprised to have received a Thanksgiving-themed email from the campaign reminding supporters to vote in the advance polls, volunteer or donate ahead of the election on Monday.

“We have a third-party provider for tracking data. They do work for other campaigns and things like that,” Smith said Monday. “They had sent out the emails and accidentally attached an additional list to it and that’s really all that happened.

“It wasn’t intended to be distributed to other lists, but I think we’ve got the matter sorted out.”  

Some Calgarians who received the message Monday said they believe they were contacted through email addresses they had provided to the United Conservative Party or the former Progressive Conservative party. 

Calgarian Guy Greenaway said his teenage daughter received the Smith campaign email after recently purchasing a membership with the UCP.

“There is no question in my mind that her membership (information) got transferred over to the Bill Smith campaign,” Greenaway said, adding that his daughter hasn’t given out her real name and email to any other businesses or organizations besides the UCP.

“One of the things that’s distressing is just that your information is being passed on,” said Greenaway, who also received the email. 

“The more distressing thing is that there is a conversation going on about whether there should be partisan politics in our civic elections. I don’t think that there should be, but I think that the conversation should be out in the open. It shouldn’t just be lists passed from one place to the other.”

Smith stopped short of apologizing for the error Monday but said they have spoken with their contractor to address the matter.

“Believe me, we’ve had them taking steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” said Smith, who declined to identify the firm they’ve employed.

And while there are federal anti-spam laws on the sending of unsolicited commercial email, the law doesn’t necessarily apply to political communication in the same way.

“It’s not an obvious (Canada anti-spam legislation) violation,” said Tom Keenan, a University of Calgary professor and digital security expert.

Keenan said it’s impossible to overstate the value of voter data to political campaigns.

“Canvassers who go door to door in some campaigns already have on their iPad which households are friendly and which are unfriendly.

“Data is definitely gold in terms of political information.”


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS
 
SEARCH
PODCAST

Canada's State of Trade: Getting Our Goods To Market

May 17, 2018


On today's Global Exchange Podcast, we continue our series on the state of Canadian trade in a world of growing populism and protectionism. Today's episode, recorded during our February 13th State of Trade conference in Ottawa, features Bruce Borrows, Jennifer Fox, and David Miller in conversation with the Wilson Center's Laura Dawson about getting Canadian goods to international markets.


IN THE MEDIA

Between Trump, Iran and North Korea, Canada’s G7 has a high potential for chaos

by Chris Hall (feat. James Trottier & Colin Robertson), CBC News, May 18, 2018

The struggle Trudeau could face if Kinder Morgan walks away from Trans Mountain

by Robert Tuttle & Michael Bellusci (feat. Dennis McConaghy), Bloomberg News, May 18, 2018

Canada 'a laughing stock': Experts react to Trans Mountain indemnity

by April Fong (feat. Dennis McConaghy), BNN Bloomberg, May 18, 2018

AUDIO: NAFTA update

with Danielle Smith (feat. Sarah Goldfeder), Global News Radio, May 18, 2018

VIDEO: NAFTA Deadline Day (@ 3:00)

with Don Martin (feat. John Weekes), CTV Power Play, May 17, 2018

VIDEO: Deal or no deal on NAFTA: Canada and U.S. send mixed messages

with Rosemary Barton (feat. Colin Robertson), CBC The National, May 17, 2018

Trump’s 'submission' strategy is not working so expect NAFTA talks to drag on

by Kevin Carmichael (Feat. Eric Miller), Financial Post, May 17, 2018

Backstop deal may be last hope for TransMountain pipeline, says former oil executive

by CBC News (feat. Dennis McConaghy), CBC News, May 17, 2018

Stuck with limited oil export options, Liberals may regret B.C. tanker ban

by John Ivison (feat. Dennis McConaghy), National Post, May 17, 2018

Feds OK early start to construction of navy’s new supply ships

by Lee Berthiaume (feat. Dave Perry), The Canadian Press, May 17, 2018


LATEST TWEETS

HEAD OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Suite 1800, 421-7th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 4K9

 

OTTAWA OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
8 York Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 5S6

 

Phone: (613) 288-2529
Email: contact@cgai.ca
Web: cgai.ca

 

Making sense of our complex world.
Déchiffrer la complexité de notre monde.

 

© 2002-2018 Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Charitable Registration No. 87982 7913 RR0001

 


Sign in with Facebook | Sign in with Twitter | Sign in with Email