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Electoral Services privacy notice - Christchurch and East Dorset Councils

This page explains how your information will be held and processed by Electoral Services.

This page contains information about:

  • who we are
  • why we collect your personal information
  • the legal basis for using your information
  • who we may share your information with
  • how you can access the information we hold about you
  • how long we keep information about you
  • further information and Data Protection Officer

Who we are

The Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer will be the Data Controller for the personal information you provide. Personal information can be anything that identifies and relates to a living person. This could be your name and contact details. As the Data Controller the Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer will use your information to provide you with our services.

Why we collect your personal information

We will collect enough personal information in order to provide you with services for the following purposes:

  • maintaining the register of electors and administering elections/referenda

We are not permitted to collect information we do not need or will not use. This document covers information you have provided direct to the Council and information which has been shared with us by other organisations.

If we don’t need your personal information we will either keep your details anonymous, if we already have it for another service or we won’t ask you for it. If we use your personal information for research or analysis, we will always keep your details anonymous or use a pseudonym.

We don’t sell your personal information to anyone else if you have opted out of the open register.  Further details about third parties having access to your information are below.

The legal basis for using your information

According to the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 1998, we must have a reason to collect and use your information.

This will be:-

  • to deliver services and support you
  • to enable us to manage the services we provide
  • to train and manage our workers who deliver those services
  • to investigate any worries or complaints you may have about our goods or services
  • to check the quality of our goods and services
  • assist with research and planning of new services

There are a number of legal reasons why we need to collect and use your personal information. For Electoral Services the processing is necessary for us to perform a task in the public interest or for our official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law.

Our service also needs to use sensitive personal data also called “special category data” which requires more protection to keep it safe. This is often information you would not want to be widely known and is very personal to you. We will take extra care of this data. The legal reason for us to collect and use this personal information is it is necessary to perform our statutory duties or it is required by electoral law.

Who we may share your information with

We use a range of organisations to either store personal information or to help deliver our services to you. Sometimes we have a legal duty to provide your personal information to other organisations.

Electoral Services may share your personal information with organisations e.g. Council Tax, Jury Service, Credit Reference Agencies, Political Parties and elected representatives, as required by law.

Your information will not be disclosed to any other organisations, except where we are required and allowed to by law.

The Electoral Register is a public document and may be physically inspected by appointment.

The Open Electoral Register is publically accessible and may be accessed and/or purchased and used by third parties for any purpose; the only personal information available is the name and address of electors. Individuals may opt out of appearing on the open register at any time.

To verify your identity, the data you provide will be processed by the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service managed by the Cabinet Office. As part of this process our data will be shared with the Department for Works and Pensions and the Cabinet Office suppliers that are data processors for the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service. You can find more information about this on the Register to vote website

The Council may also share your personal information with service areas within the Council or other relevant organisations for purposes which may include law enforcement.

Finally, you should be aware that the Council has a duty to protect public funds.  It may therefore use the personal information for the prevention or detection of fraud and may therefore share this personal information with other bodies for these purposes.

Accessing the information we hold about you

You have the right to request, in writing, details of the information that is held about you and also the right to access a copy of the information. This may be by the Council providing copies of documents or by inviting you to view the records at one of its offices, if appropriate. Please see our webpage for further information about how to make a subject access request.

Christchurch and East Dorset Councils will not charge a fee to access your information. Sometimes there may be information that we are not allowed to show you, such as

  • legal information or advice
  • crime prevention and detection records
  • information that we believe may be harmful to you and your well-being
  • details about or provided by other people – this is called third party information (e.g. information from the Police or Department for Work & Pensions)

Your rights

You have with certain rights with regard to your personal information, however not all of these rights will be available to you in all situations, particularly where the processing of your information is necessary for the Council to carry out its duties and powers. For more information about your rights, please see our data protection information

How long we keep information about you

We will retain this information for as long as a person is entitled to appear on the electoral register.  Once the entitlement to appear ceases, the Council will retain an individual’s records for such time as required by law.

Further information

If you have a concern about how we are using your information, we would ask you to contact us in the first instance using the address below:

Electoral Services
Civic Offices
Bridge Street
Christchurch
Dorset
BH23 1AZ

Data Protection Officer

If you are not satisfied with a response to your concerns from the Service, our Data Protection Officer, can review any issues regarding Information Rights legislation if necessary. 

Information Commissioner

For further information about Information Rights legislation, please contact the Information Commissioner’s Office at www.ico.org.ukor by telephone 0303 123 1113.

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General data protection regulation (GDPR)

We will only use the personal information supplied by you in accordance with GDPR. By giving us this information you are consenting to such use as set out in our privacy notice.