OPT OUT – OR THE VALE COUNCIL WILL SELL-ON YOUR ADDRESS DATA

Vale Council Electoral Roll enumerators - carrying satchels full of forms - are calling at every home in Penarth

Vale Council Electoral Roll enumerators are collecting completed “Household Enquiry Forms” from  every home in Penarth. Any local residents who didn’t opt out of the “Open Register” (using the option on the form) – will have their address-data sold-on commercially by the Vale of Glamorgan Council to anyone who wants it   .

The Vale of Glamorgan Council is sending out enumerators  to ensure every Penarth householder has received – and completed – a pink-coloured “Household Enquiry Form”  – which double-checks that information held on the official Electoral Register for each address is correct.

The aim is to ensure that the Electoral Register is accurate and up-to-date.

The forms also aim to identify any residents who are currently not registered to vote  – and which electors have opted-out of having their information included on the so-called “Open Register” .

If people listed on the Electoral Register don’t withhold “Open Register Status”, their data can be sold commercially to anyone – usually marketing companies. The household inquiry form  gives people the option of taking their name off  so-called  “Open Register Status” on the Electoral Register  – but the full information is still included in the main Electoral Register which has restricted circulation (although any individual can check the full Electoral Roll at their local library free of charge).

Local authorities like the Vale of Glamorgan can charge any individual or commercial firm for copies of bulk data held on the Open Register. The rate is currently set at  £21.50 for every 1,000 entries .

About half of all registered voters have already opted out of the Open Register.

Further details on the  Open Register are on  http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/council/Electoral-Services/What-is-the-Open-Register.aspx

 

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Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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12 Responses to OPT OUT – OR THE VALE COUNCIL WILL SELL-ON YOUR ADDRESS DATA

  1. Christopher David says:

    As I recall (am I wrong?) the forms gave dire warnings of the consequences if you opted put. No voting forms was its? Gosh knows what else. The post office do the same. Result deluge of junk mail. They even ignore my no junk mail sigh. Anyway instead of binning trees I just dump it all back in the post box. Maybe more could do the same or come up with some other ideas?

    • JohnB says:

      They always ignored my ‘no junk sign’, as well. I think it’s a fantastic idea to dump it all back in the post box – why didn’t I think of that? Let’s all do that!!!

    • Colin Davies says:

      No, opting out is nothing new, since IER however its become more prominent and there are certainly no “consequences” for opting out of the open register.

      • Christopher David says:

        OK Definitely is on the Post office opt our form though (off paste yes- so just for info folks) So like I said they ignore my junk notice so I dump it all back in post box. Unsolicited but addressed I write RTS and post back.

  2. Lindsay says:

    No Christopher, no “dire warnings”, just a straightforward in or out of the open register. The clue is in the word “open”. I’d have thought most people here would have welcomed a local authority making use of a legitimate opportunity to raise revenue.

    • Paul says:

      Lindsay, you like junk mail? You like scam phone calls saying you e won a holiday? Then opt in. Selling your details to anyone means just that. I don’t care if it’s legitimate or not,

      • Christopher David says:

        Paul he is Junk male🙂

      • Lindsay says:

        I think there’s some confusion here. The “open” register is the version that is available for anyone to buy. Everyone is able to opt out of the open register, simply by ticking a box on the form provided by the local authority. That’s all, and your details won’t be sold on to anyone and you won’t get junk mail. At least, not from this source – there are plenty of other organisations only too happy to sell information.

    • Christopher David says:

      Ever the hand wringing cringer eh.

  3. Martin Coffee says:

    The chuggers who accost you accost you when you leave the polling station also have access to the complete open register so political class have access to your details even though you opted out. I’ve not been on the register since I discovered this.

    Barry has been previously been reported to the ICO after opting out problems.
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/08/15/voter_registration_rules_leave_brits_at_risk_of_spam_tsunami/

    Fortunately I’ve not received one of their pretty pink forms.

    (Note to my friends: I’m not opening the door without a prior appointment until these enumerators have gone.)

  4. Penileaks says:

    I and my wife opted out a few years back. About 18 months later, we discovered that we were in fact not ‘Opted Out’ any more. When we questioned this with the Vale department dealing with the Electoral Register, they informed us that everyone had received a new Household Enquiry Form and that whether or not our names were withheld, was dependent on us ticking the relevant ‘Opt Out’ box again or not. So, we were out when we first ticked the box and back on the open list when we did not tick it the following year, so be careful if you think that you are automatically off the list, because you may not be !
    Another point I feel is relevant, is that surely our personal information is private and under the Data Protection Act, should not and cannot be passed on, or in this case, sold to a third party, without getting the individuals permission first. A box to tick if you DO want your details passed on to these commercial ventures would be the correct way to legally handle this and not the other way around, so why do we all allow this to happen around the country ?

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