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Samantha Cameron’s fashion label Cefinn accused of using Covid-19 tracking app to promote products

Samantha Cameron’s fashion label Cefinn is accused of using a Covid-19 symptom tracking app to promote its £25 silk face masks

  • London-born wife of former prime minister David Cameron owns label Cefinn 
  • Brand accused of using coronavirus symptom tracking app to promote products
  • People who signed up to joinzoe.com, app that collects Covid-19 data for King’s College London research, received email promoting facemasks made by Cefinn
  • Many claimed they felt ‘misled’ and accused brand of breaching GDPR rules 

Samantha Cameron’s fashion label has been accused of using a Covid-19 symptom tracking app to promote its luxurious £25 silk face masks.

The London-born wife of former prime minister David Cameron owns Cefinn, which recently released a new capsule collection of face coverings in support of The COVID Symptom Study. 

However, some people who signed up to joinzoe.com, which harvests data for research conducted at King’s College London into the long-term effects of coronavirus, said they were surprised when they received an email promoting the masks.

The correspondence, which said the app is ‘proud’ to work with Cefinn, featured a photograph of Mrs Cameron modelling the brand’s Rust Circle Geo Print mask, which is currently sold out.

Samantha Cameron's fashion label has been accused of using a Covid-19 symptom tracking app to promote its luxurious £25 silk face masks. Pictured: Mrs Cameron wearing one of the Cefinn masks

Samantha Cameron’s fashion label has been accused of using a Covid-19 symptom tracking app to promote its luxurious £25 silk face masks. Pictured: Mrs Cameron wearing one of the Cefinn masks

The London-born wife of former prime minister David Cameron owns Cefinn, which recently released a new capsule collection of face coverings in support of the The COVID Symptom Study

The London-born wife of former prime minister David Cameron owns Cefinn, which recently released a new capsule collection of face coverings in support of the The COVID Symptom Study

All proceeds from sales of the items will go towards funding the research, but numerous people took to Twitter to express concern they’d been ‘misled’ and that their data was being used for marketing purposes.  

Writer Kate Maltby tweeted: ‘Pretty sure I didn’t sign up to the Covid symptom study in the expectation of getting an advert in my inbox for a women’s fashion label.

‘There is something very inappropriate about this, and not only because it’s social PR for a business run by the wife of a former PM.’

In response, Catherine Moss commented: ‘I agree – I was horrified to receive the email flogging face masks from Cefinn. It has completely undermined the credibility in the work which has been undertaken by the app and the team supporting it. How could they be so stupid?’ 

All proceeds from sales of the items will go towards funding the research, but numerous people took to Twitter to express concern they'd been 'misled' and that their data was being used for marketing purposes after receiving the above email

All proceeds from sales of the items will go towards funding the research, but numerous people took to Twitter to express concern they’d been ‘misled’ and that their data was being used for marketing purposes after receiving the above email

Writer Kate Maltby tweeted: 'Pretty sure I didn't sign up to the Covid symptom study in the expectation of getting an advert in my inbox for a women's fashion label,' while another Twitter user said it undermined the 'scientific integrity' of the project

Writer Kate Maltby tweeted: ‘Pretty sure I didn’t sign up to the Covid symptom study in the expectation of getting an advert in my inbox for a women’s fashion label,’ while another Twitter user said it undermined the ‘scientific integrity’ of the project

Twitter user @FriendofBrenda added: ‘I looked at the Data Privacy notice and I don’t see any reference to them using data forward marketing from third parties in the permitted use of data. Badly done.’ 

Writer Ana Kinsella tweeted: ‘The Covid symptom tracker app has partnered with Samantha Cameron’s fashion brand to try to sell me silk face masks? Is this a sick joke?’

Heather Hays posted: ‘Very unhappy about COVID symptom tracker teaming up with Cefinn women’s wear who just sent me an email urging me to buy a limited edition face mask (at great expense). Seems to undermine CST claim to scientific integrity.’ 

In a thread, Twitter user Sonny, an illustrator from Edinburgh, claimed they felt 'dirty and misled' by the 'marketing emails' and accused the brand of violating GDPR rules

In a thread, Twitter user Sonny, an illustrator from Edinburgh, claimed they felt ‘dirty and misled’ by the ‘marketing emails’ and accused the brand of violating GDPR rules

Mrs Cameron wrote on Cefinn’s website that she is ‘thrilled’ sales of the masks will  help fund research, adding: ‘Wearing a mask is more important than ever so I am delighted to offer beautiful, breathable masks in signature Cefinn prints.’

The joinzoe.com website states: ‘This is a not-for-profit initiative and your data will not be used for commercial purposes.’

FEMAIL has reached out to Cefinn for comment.   

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