Government report calls for voter data handling reform

Voters’ data should not be sold the direct marketing companies because it sends out a “poor message”, according to a Government Report. It calls for a wide-ranging reform of the way that the organisations treat information about members of the public.

The government-commissioned review, published today (July 11), was led by Information Commissioner Richard Thomas and Wellcome Trust director Dr Mark Walport and was commissioned a week before HM Revenue and Customs lost discs containing the details of 25 million consumers.

It recommends that the Information commissioner should be given the power to fine companies that deliberately break privacy rules, and that organisations should publish their privacy policies explaining how and why they use people’s details.

The report adds that data sharing across both the private and public sectors is confusing – and that the public are not always aware how their personal information is used. The review calls for wide scale reform and a ministerial inquiry into companies that gather and sell on the personal details of members of the public.

Thomas’ says he is particularly worried about councils selling edited versions of the electoral roll, which the public are able to opt out, which are used by direct marketing companies. He adds that using data collected for the democratic process in this way was unsatisfactory.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here