Opted out consumers risk online disappointment

With nearly one in two voters choosing to withhold their name from use by marketers, a major data owner has warned that they could experience reduced service levels as a result. The warning comes in relation to the edited electoral register which makes the names and addresses of voters who have not opted out available for use by commercial organisations.

“This data is used by many online businesses to verify customers’ identities before despatching goods. So we hope that consumers who have chosen to opt-out realise the potential implications of this decision,” says Neil Munroe, external affairs director at Equifax.

The issue arises as the latest figures for opt out rates from the latest EER show a further 2.3 per cent rise, taking the level to around 46 per cent. This means nearly half of consumers who register to vote can not have their data used from this source, other than for credit checking which is permitted access to the full, unedited roll.

More optimistically, Munro noted a small uplift in the overall number of consumers registering. He says: “This could well be in anticipation of the General Election. But we also believe that the changing economic landscape this year has meant consumers have a better understanding of the significance of the electoral roll for providing vital identity verification in order to be able to conduct much of day-to-day life – from accessing credit to making online purchases. And that could be another reason for the uplift.”

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