Aussie firm red-faced after UK Tory conference app leaks


A Tory conference app - which chairman Brandon Lewis was planning to unveil as the result of a modern overhaul of the party - backfired spectacularly after the phone numbers and personal details of all those attending were made public.

The data watchdog is investigating after Boris Johnson and Michael Gove were among those to have their accounts on the CPC 2018 app accessed after it was revealed their profiles could be entered just with the email used to register them.

"It is disgraceful that people can access the personal details of MPs because of the utter incompetence of CCHQ".

Gove's picture was changed to Rupert Murdoch, his previous employer at the London Times.

Leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg last night called an African country "the people's republic of jam jar or something" at a packed meeting of the Tory Party conference.

Events technology company Crowd Comms created the app, with the terms and conditions directing users to the firm's offices in Australia. Its privacy policy states that it "complies with ... the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)".

Speaking at the party's annual conference in Birmingham, Mr Rees-Mogg claimed that telling young people they could be ruled by unknown bureaucrats in Brussels was a "really popular" argument for Brexiteers to make.

The Conservative Party apologised for "any concern caused" and said "the technical issue has been resolved".

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Prime Minister Theresa May, who was arriving at the conference in Birmingham, ignored questions from reporters about the security blunder.

He said: "A hacker can do an terrible lot with just an email address and a phone number".

In its statement, Crowdcomms, which has a presence in the UK, Ireland and Singapore as well, said: "An error meant that a third party in possession of a conference attendee's email address was able, without further authentication, to potentially see data which the attendee had not wished to share - name, email address, phone number, job title and photo".

It was an inauspicious start, the year after May's closing conference speech was marred by a collapsing set and a prankster stage invasion.

"They seem to have dealt with it pretty quickly, but potentially very serious indeed".

The opposition Labour Party said the blunder showed the ruling party could not be trusted in matters of security.

Jon Trickett MP, Labour's Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, said in a statement: "How can we trust this Tory Government with our country's security when they can't even build a conference app that keeps the data of their members, MPs and others attending safe and secure?"