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electoral roll breaches at three Welsh councils could be even more widespread

TORPC
Grafter
Posts: 5,163
Registered: 08-12-2013

electoral roll breaches at three Welsh councils could be even more widespread

[quote=http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-27169919]A computer software error is being blamed for the issue at Rhondda Cynon Taf, Torfaen and Caerphilly councils.
But expert Prof Alan Woodward said the issue raised fresh concerns about the control of personal data.
The University of Surrey expert told BBC Radio Wales that the data errors could be an issue for other local authorities across the UK.
"What we also don't know is the software that was being used - which other councils are using it," he said.
"They might also be making the same mistake, so it could be quite widespread."
Opting out
The electoral roll error relates to the two different versions of the roll - known as the full and edited electoral rolls.
The edited roll can be sold to third parties, who might use it for marketing purposes.

But, crucially, members of the public can opt-out of this list, and insist that their details are left out of the edited electoral roll.
However, in the case of the three Welsh councils now under investigation, the computer error meant the opt-out requests were missed.
It meant the full electoral rolls were passed to credit check agencies, without the vital information about which names and addresses could not be sold on to third parties for marketing purposes.
Did you know about the OPT-OUT option ??
I know I was never made aware of it (therefore human error as opposed to a computer error)
It is all too easy to put the blame on a computer that does not have to answer for itself, or face the sack & end up on the dole etc
Surely as there are 2 versions, then an employee or series of employees have ticked the wrong box, had access to both versions, by means of username / password
I have many a business client & have actually seen the employees making the mistake(s) & then blatantly blames the computer / then I had to check that machine or the server & found nothing wrong.
One firm I am contracted to, has a wannabe web designer, & he decided to play around with the companies website source code via Firefox (some of you will know the score), then claimed the website had been hacked, I get a call out, checked the website & all was fine (if only the office worker(s) bosses et al had the brain(s) to check before making the call & simply refreshed the page,) then the employee would of been banged to rights
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Community Veteran
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Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: electoral roll breaches at three Welsh councils could be even more widespread

Quote from: TORPC
Did you know about the OPT-OUT option ?Huh

Yes !,  It has been an option on the paper form that I have filled in for as long as I can remember
and looks something like this -

http://www.checkmyfile.com/articles/44/electoral-roll/dont-get-left-off-the-electoral-roll.htm
TORPC
Grafter
Posts: 5,163
Registered: 08-12-2013

Re: electoral roll breaches at three Welsh councils could be even more widespread

Cheers purleigh
SWMBO deals with that side of things & she has left for work,
Sometime(s) I must learn to pay more attention to the forms SWMBO deals with Roll eyes
alanf
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Re: electoral roll breaches at three Welsh councils could be even more widespread

Quote from: TORPC
It meant the full electoral rolls were passed to credit check agencies, without the vital information about which names and addresses could not be sold on to third parties for marketing purposes.

I didn't know that Credit Reference Agencies sold on electoral rolls. They have full registers against which they perform checks on individuals in response to requests from authorised organisations. I thought marketing companies bought edited electoral rolls directly from local councils. As councils make money selling the information it would not make sense for them to allow CRAs to buy one copy and then sell it on. Have I got this wrong?
Community Veteran
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Re: electoral roll breaches at three Welsh councils could be even more widespread

Quote from: TORPC
Did you know about the OPT-OUT option ??

Yes but it is worthless IMO. Moons ago some bloke won a court case where he argued he didn't have to register for the electoral role as he had the "right not to be found". The court agreed that the electoral role effectively took away this right and they binned the case that the council had brought against him.
So to get around it the government setup a two tier electoral role where you still legally had to appear on one but not the other. Point being that even that still breaks the right not to be found because they still make the primary list available to the police, councils, key government depts, credit reference agencies etc so the whole idea was pointless.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
itsme
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Re: electoral roll breaches at three Welsh councils could be even more widespread

The full electoral register is available for viewing by the general public.
nanotm
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Re: electoral roll breaches at three Welsh councils could be even more widespread

the full role is supposed to only be available to view in the council office, the edited edition is allowed to be shared around, this is one of the main reasons why council's conduct the majority of benefit fraud investigations, because legally they are the only group who can have access to the full roll, the fact that, some (if not all) fail in to comply with the law and actively share the full roll with anyone who asks for access is pretty much what the story is all about is it not ?
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
itsme
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Re: electoral roll breaches at three Welsh councils could be even more widespread

There are a few bodies that have access to the full register
[quote=http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public/topic_specific_guides/electoral_register]The law makes it compulsory to provide information to an electoral registration officer for inclusion in the full register. The details you are likely to have to provide are your name, address, nationality and age. The full register is updated every month and published once a year, and is used by electoral registration officers across the country for purposes related to elections. Political parties, MPs and public libraries also have the full register.
It is also used by local authorities for their duties relating to security, law enforcement and crime prevention, for example checking entitlement to council tax discount or housing benefit. It may also be used by the police for law enforcement purposes.
It can be sold to government departments to help in their duties such as the prevention or detection of crime. They can also use it for vetting job applicants and employees if this is required by law. Credit reference agencies are allowed to buy the full version of the register so that lenders can check the names and addresses of people applying for credit and carry out identity checks to help stop money laundering.
It is a crime for anyone who has a copy of the full register to pass information from this register onto others if they do not have a lawful reason to see it.