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Saturday 2 August 2014

The open register.

A couple of days ago I received a letter from my district council confirming that I was registered to vote. All well and good. That’s me free to vote for UKIP if I so wish.

However there was another section informing me that unless I opted out, I would also be on the “Open Register”. On reading the blurb it would mean that the council would be able to sell information about me to any Tom, Dick, or Harry, whenever they saw fit.

Users of the open register include:

  • Businesses checking the identity and address details of people who apply for their services such as insurance, goods hire and property rental, as well as when they shop online;
  • Businesses selling age-restricted goods or services, such as alcohol and gambling online, to meet the rules on verifying the age of their customers;
  • Charities and voluntary agencies, for example to help maintain contact information for those who have chosen to donate bone marrow and to help people separated by adoption to find each other;
  • Charities, to help with fundraising and contacting people who have made donations;
  • Debt collection agencies when tracing people who have changed address without telling their creditors;
  • Direct marketing firms when maintaining their mailing lists;
  • Landlords and letting agents when checking the identity of potential tenants;
  • Local councils when identifying and contacting residents;
  • Online directory firms to help users of the websites find people, such as when reuniting friends and families;
  • Organisations tracing and identifying beneficiaries of wills, pensions and insurance policies;
  • Private sector firms to verify details of job applicants.

They must be joking if they think they can get me to agree to the above.

Anyone else received such a missive yet?