Electoral Registration Officer/Returning Officer Privacy Notice (Milton Keynes Council)
Everything we do with information about people, such as how we collect it and who we share it with, has to comply with the Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). A key part of this is being open about how we use information and what rights you have in respect of information we hold about you.
This notice sets specific information for the Electoral Registration Officer/Returning Officer. The broader Council Corporate Privacy notice can be seen online.
If anything in this notice is not clear, or if you have further queries, please get in contact with the Data Protection Officer using the details at the end.
What information do we hold?
We use information about citizens, Electors and Voters to enable us to carry out specific functions for which we are responsible and to provide you with a statutory service.
We keep records about potential and actual electors, voters, citizens, candidates and their agents, staff employed at an election and the people we need to pay. These may be written down (manual records), or kept on a computer (electronic records).
These records may include:
- basic details about you, for example, name, address, date of birth and nationality
- unique identifiers (such as your NI number),
- scanned application forms & dates of any letters of correspondence,
- notes about any relevant circumstances that you have told us
- details and records about the service you have received,
- your previous or any redirected address
- The other occupants in your home
- If you are over 76 or under 16/17
Why do we have it and what do we use it for?
Your records are used to help ensure that we provide you with the service that you need. We will, based on your nationality, include your name on the Electoral Register so that you are able to vote by your chosen method.
The Electoral Register is a public document which can be viewed by appointment only under strict control.
It is important that your records are accurate and up-to-date as they will help make sure that our staff are able to provide you with the help, advice or support you need.
If you do not provide us with this information then eligible citizens will not be able to vote and you may be breaking the law.
Occasions when your information needs to be disclosed (shared) include
- To contracted printers to print your Poll cards, Postal Packs & other electoral material
- To registered political parties, elected representatives, candidates, agents and other permitted participants who are able to use it for Electoral Purposes only
- Credit reference agencies, the British Library, UK Statistics Authority, the Electoral Commission and other statutory recipients of the Electoral Register
- Details of whether you have voted (but not how you have voted) to those who are entitled in law to receive it after an election
- where the health and safety of others is at risk
- when the law requires us to pass on information under special circumstances
- crime prevention or the detection of fraud as part of the National Fraud Initiative.
Anyone who receives information from us has a legal duty to keep it confidential
- We are required by law to report certain information to appropriate authorities – for example:
- where a formal court order has been issued.
- to law enforcement agencies for the prevention or detection of a crime
- to the Jury Central Summoning Bureau indicating those persons who are aged 76 or over and are no longer eligible for jury service.
The process of checking citizens’ personal identifiers to ensure eligibility for inclusion in the Electoral Register is controlled by the Cabinet Office via the IER Digital Service.
- The Department for Work and Pensions who use data provided to verify the identity of new applicants
- The Cabinet Office will inform the old local authority of people who have moved area
If your details are in the Open version of the Electoral Register, your name and address can be sold to third parties who may use it for any purpose. You can opt out of this version at any time and are given the opportunity annually as part of the Canvass of all households.
How long we keep hold of information for?
We only keep information for as long as it is needed. The Electoral Registration Officer & Returning Officer are obliged to process your personal data in relation to preparing for and conducting Elections. Your details will be kept and updated in accordance with our legal obligations and in line with statutory retention periods.
What rights you have
You have various rights around the data we hold about you.
- Right of access (to receive a copy of your personal data)
- Right to rectification (to request data is corrected inaccurate)
- Right to erasure (to request that data is deleted)
- Right to restrict processing (to request we don’t use your data in a certain way)
- Right to data portability (in some cases, you can ask to receive a copy of your data in a commonly-used electronic format so that it can be given to someone else)
- Right to object (generally to make a complaint about any aspect of our use of your data)
- Right to have explained if there will be any automated decision-making, including profiling, based on your data and for the logic behind this to be explained to you.
Any such request can be submitted to the Data Protection Officer. Whether we can agree to your request will depend on the specific circumstances and if we cannot then we will explain the reasons why.
If we are processing your information based on you giving us consent to do so, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time. Doing so may mean we are unable to provide the service you are hoping to receive and the implications of you giving or withdrawing your consent will be explained at the time.
If you are unhappy with any aspect of how your information has been collected and/or used, you can make a complaint to the Data Protection Officer. You can also report concerns to the national regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office. Their details can be found on their website: https://ico.org.uk/concerns/handling/
Last Updated: 12 February 2021