IFAs who purchase local versions of the Electoral Register for direct mailing and marketing purposes...
IFAs who purchase local versions of the Electoral Register for direct mailing and marketing purposes will have to buy a new 'edited' version of the lists or they risk breaking the Data Protection Act.
Changes to Electoral Register rights mean every household can now be placed on two registers unless they ask otherwise: one full register, which can still be read at local offices, used for law enforcement and credit checking, and another shortened list which can be purchased by all other companies.
The difference, however, is voters can now ask to be removed from the edited list, which means anyone using today's lists could be in contravention of the 1998 Data Protection Act as of 1st December, 2002, when the new edited lists are published.
Letters are being sent to every household to explain the change and automatically added to the edited list unless they tick a box on the Register Update form, requesting they be removed.
Officials at the Electoral Commission say it is not clear whether advisers using old lists for direct mailing purposes will be in contravention of the 1998 DPA, but recommend it is "not advisable" to use old lists in case it is challenged by members of the public.
But reforms have been introduced following the November 2001 Robertson judgement, in which an elector challenged the fact he could not register to vote without his details being made available for sale.
The City of Wakefield Metropolitan Council - because this was his local council - was found to have breached both his human rights and data protection regulations, and so government reforms have been introduced to amend the situation.
For brief details on the changes, click thru the right-hand link to
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