Privacy notice

This notice sets out how we will use your personal data, and your rights. It is made under Articles 13 and/or 14 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Your data

We will collect the following personal data: nationality, date of birth, your full name, any previous names, address, previous address where relevant, confirmation of living at a second address, your preference for opting out of the open/edited register, voting preferences (in person or by post), your National Insurance Number, and, if you have chosen to provide them, your email address and telephone number.

For applications from residents of Northern Ireland, we will also collect: second address details, preference for application for an electoral ID card, and reason for requesting a postal vote.

If you have applied to register to vote as an Overseas, Forces or Crown Servant elector we will have collected additional relevant information in order to confirm your eligibility status (e.g your service number)

If you agree to our use of cookies (see below), we will also collect your cookie identifiers and your website activity (e.g. number of visits, time spent on pages).

Purpose

The purpose for which we are processing your personal data is to process your application to register to vote, and (where you provide contact details) to communicate with you about your registration.

Personal data included on the electoral register will be shared as explained below. Third parties who receive that personal data may use it for other purposes for which they would be the responsible data controller. This is explained further below.

Our legal basis for processing your electoral registration personal data is because processing is necessary for the exercise of a function of a government department (Article 6(1)(e) of GDPR). That function is to facilitate online applications to register to vote in order to improve democratic engagement.

We also collect information about the use of our website through cookies. Where we use non-essential cookies you will be asked whether you agree to these. If you do agree, our lawful basis for processing any website usage data will be your consent (Article 6(1)(a)). Our cookie policy is set out below.

Recipients

We may share your name, previous name, date of birth, and National Insurance number with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) so they can check your details against their records and make sure you are who you say you are.

We will share your data with your local Electoral Registration Office (ERO) in England, Scotland and Wales, or with the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) in Northern Ireland. Each maintain the register of electors for their area. Each ERO, and the CEO, is a separate data controller and how they use your data will be set out in their Privacy Notice. Click here to find your Local Electoral Registration Office and their Privacy Notice. EROs in England, Scotland and Wales, and the CEO in Northern Ireland, will typically use the data for the purposes of maintaining the electoral register, communicating with you about your registration, and their broader registration duties.

Your personal data will also be processed by our IT infrastructure, and thus will be shared with our IT service providers who are our data processors. This includes if you contact the Register to Vote service with a query or send feedback about the service.

We will also share and publish some or all of your data as set out below.

How your information may be shared in England, Scotland and Wales

Each Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) maintains the full electoral register for their area. The full electoral register contains the names and addresses of all persons who have registered to vote, except those who have registered via the anonymous registration scheme, which is reserved for individuals who are concerned about their safety or the safety of persons residing in their household.

The full electoral register version of the register is used for a variety of purposes, which are set out in law. It is a criminal offence for anyone to supply or use the register for other purposes.

14 and 15 year olds in Scotland may be added to the electoral register (and are eligible to vote in Scottish Parliamentary and local elections in Scotland at the age of 16). Their information is included on the electoral register, but only Electoral Registration Officers and their staff can usually see the details they provide. Their details will not be included in any register that is published. About six weeks before an election certain people need details of everyone who can vote in that election.

Electoral administration

Your local electoral returning officer uses the full electoral register for the purposes of an election, including helping to ensure that eligible individuals are registered and able to vote in relevant elections.

They will also match it against other sources of data in order to support the electoral register.

Archives, Libraries and Statistics Board

The organisations listed below receive copies of the full electoral register and make it available for inspection by members of the public. They are allowed to retain these copies for as long as they wish. Individuals inspecting registers may only do so under supervision and may only make copies of any particulars included on the register via hand-written notes.

  • The British Library, the National Library of Wales and the National Library of Scotland.
  • The Statistics Board.
  • A public library or local authority archives service.

Political entities and individuals

The organisations and individuals listed below are entitled to receive copies of the full electoral register, on request, and use it for “electoral purposes”. “Electoral purposes” is intended to cover a wide range of political activities inside and outside election periods, including but not limited to: democratic representation; communicating with electors and interested parties; surveying and opinion gathering, campaigning activities; activities to increase voter turnout; supporting the work of elected representatives, prospective candidates and official candidates; and fundraising to support any of these activities. In some cases, they may also use the register for additional purposes, and where this is the case it is indicated below.

These organisations and individuals are also entitled to request copies of ‘marked registers’, which show whether a person voted in an election, but not how they voted, and lists of persons who are registered as absent voters. They can also use this information for “electoral purposes”.

Organisations that can use your data for electoral and related purposes:

  • Your Member of Parliament, Member of the National Assembly for Wales, Member of the Scottish Parliament, or local councillor may also use the full register for electoral purposes and purposes in connection with the office that they hold.
  • The Mayor of London and London members of the London Assembly if you live in Greater London. Your elected mayor, if you have one. These individuals may also use the full register for electoral purposes and purposes in connection with the office that they hold.
  • Candidates in Parliamentary, local government or Authority elections who are standing in an area in which you are registered may use the register for electoral purposes and for complying with rules on political donations.
  • Candidates at an election to the National Assembly for Wales or the Scottish Parliament who are standing in an area in which you are registered may use the register for electoral purposes.
  • Registered political parties, recognised third parties who intend to promote or procure electoral success at any relevant election, and permitted participants (for example referenda campaigners). These entities may use the register for electoral purposes, but also use the register for the purposes of complying with the laws on political donations. Permitted participants may also use the register for the purposes of a referendum campaign.
  • Local constituency representatives of registered political parties who operate in the area in which you are registered may also use the register for electoral purposes and electoral registration purposes.

Other Public bodies

The following organisations are also entitled to request a copy of the full electoral register and use it to carry out specified public functions:

  • Your local authority in order to carry out statutory functions related to security, law enforcement and crime prevention, for the purpose of a local poll, or for statistical purposes
  • Your parish council or community council for the purpose of establishing whether any person is entitled to attend and participate in a meeting of, or take any action on behalf of, the parish or community, or for a local poll
  • The courts for the purposes of summoning jurors
  • The Electoral Commission to allow it to carry out its functions
  • The Boundary Commission for England; the Boundary Commission for Wales; the Local Government Commission for England and the Local Democracy; the Boundary Commission for Wales; and the Boundary Commission for Scotland; the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland to allow them to carry out their functions.
  • Any police force, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (Reserve), the National Crime Agency, the Police Information and Technology Organisation, and body of constables established under an Act of Parliament for the purposes of the prevention and detection of crime, the enforcement of the criminal law, and the vetting of relevant persons for the purpose of the safeguarding of national security
  • The security services to allow them to carry out their functions
  • A government department, the Environment Agency, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Prudential Regulation Authority, or a body not previously listed that carries out the vetting of relevant persons for the purpose of the safeguarding of national security for the prevention and detection of crime, the enforcement of the criminal law, the vetting of employees and applicants where vetting is required pursuant to an enactment, and the vetting of relevant persons for the purpose of the safeguarding of national security.

Credit reference agencies

Credit reference agencies are entitled to purchase copies of the full electoral register, and may use it to vet applications for credit, prevent and detect money laundering, or for the statistical analysis of credit risk assessments.

How your information may be shared in Northern Ireland

The Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland maintains the full electoral register for Northern Ireland.

The full electoral register contains the names and addresses of all persons who have registered to vote, except those who have registered via the anonymous registration scheme, which is reserved for individuals who are concerned about their safety or the safety of persons residing in their household (in which case the only details which appear on the register are an electoral number and the letter “N”).

The full electoral register version of the register is used for a variety of purposes, which are set out in law. It is a criminal offence for anyone to supply or use the register for other purposes.The full register is used for electoral purposes – such as making sure only eligible people can vote – and for other limited purposes specified in law. The personal data in both the full and edited register must always be processed in line with data-protection legislation.

It is a criminal offence for anyone to supply or use the register for anything not set out in law.

Electoral administration

The Electoral Office for Northern Ireland uses the full electoral register for the purposes of an election, including helping to ensure that eligible individuals are registered and able to vote in relevant elections.

Inspecting the Register

Individuals inspecting registers may only do so under supervision at the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland offices in Belfast or at the office of the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Individuals may only make copies of any particulars included on the register via hand-written notes.

Political entities and individuals

The organisations and individuals listed below are entitled to receive copies of the full electoral register, on request. A number of them are entitled to use it for “electoral purposes”. “Electoral purposes” is intended to cover a wide range of political activities inside and outside election periods, including but not limited to: democratic representation; communicating with electors and interested parties; surveying and opinion gathering, campaigning activities; activities to increase voter turnout; supporting the work of elected representatives, prospective candidates and official candidates; and fundraising to support any of these activities.

These organisations and individuals are also entitled to request copies of ‘marked registers’, which show whether a person voted in an election, but not how they voted, and lists of persons who are registered as absent voters.

In some cases, they may also use the register for additional purposes in connection with the office that they hold.

These are indicated below.

  • A Member of Parliament, who is entitled to a copy of the register for the constituency they represent, who can use the register for purposes connected with their office or for electoral purposes
  • Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, who is entitled to the register for the constituency they represent, who can use the register for purposes connected with their office or for electoral purposes
  • A local councillor, who is entitled to the register for the local district electoral area they represent, who can use the register for purposes connected with their office or for electoral purposes
  • Candidates in Parliamentary, Northern Ireland Assembly and local government elections who are standing in an area in which you are registered. These individuals may also use the register for complying with rules on political donations. They can also use the register for electoral purposes.
  • Registered political parties, recognised third parties who intend to promote or procure electoral success at any relevant election, and permitted participants (for example referenda campaigners). These entities may use the register for electoral purposes and also for the purposes of complying with the laws on political donations. Permitted participants may also use the register for the purposes of a referendum campaign.
  • Local constituency representatives of registered political parties who operate in the area in which you are registered. These entities may also use the full register for electoral and electoral registration purposes.

Other Public bodies

The following organisations and individuals are also entitled to receive a copy of the full electoral register:

  • The Electoral Commission for use in carrying out its functions
  • The British Library
  • The Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland; the Local Government Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland; and the District Electoral Area Commissioner for use in carrying out their functions.
  • Deputy returning officers at a local election to use for the purposes of that election.
  • A police force in Great Britain, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (Reserve), the National Crime Agency, the Police Information and Technology Organisation, and body of constables established under an Act of Parliament to use for the purposes of detection and prevention of crime and enforcement of criminal law.
  • UK Government departments and Northern Ireland Departments.

Credit reference agencies

Credit reference agencies are entitled to purchase copies of the full electoral register, and may use it to vet applications for credit, prevent and detect money laundering, or for the statistical analysis of credit risk assessments.

Jury service

The Chief Electoral Officer is required to provide lists of individuals, compiled from entries on the full register, for the purpose of the Juries Officer calling individuals for jury service.

Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency are supplied with a copy of the full register. They can use this for statistical purposes and must provide it for public inspection. The Chief Electoral Officer may also provide information about your date of birth and nationality to the Agency. The Agency may use that information for statistical purposes or assisting the Chief Electoral Officer comply with their duties relating to registration of electors.

Medical practitioners

A registered medical practitioner may obtain details of an individual from the full register for the purpose of providing medical care to that individual or their dependents.

Retention

Your data is deleted by this registration service once your application to register to vote is processed by your respective Electoral Registration Officer (ERO). Once your ERO downloads the application, we mark it for deletion from our systems within 48 hours. Most applications are downloaded within one business day. We work with EROs to ensure that all applications are downloaded within 30 days.

We also hold back-ups of data for 14 days. Data identifiers about your use of our website collected by cookies is kept for 26 months.

We retain some data about your application, for example time, date, postcode to help us troubleshoot problems with your registration. Other data, such as age and if you have recently moved are used to create aggregated statistics. This data is not associated with any other other personal identifiers.

Information published in the full or edited register will be placed in the public domain, and may remain there indefinitely. Find out more information from your local Electoral Registration Office privacy notice.

Origin of data

Your personal data were provided by you, or provided by your local Electoral Registration Officer (or Chief Electoral Officer in Northern Ireland) on your behalf where you completed a paper application.

Your rights

You have the right to request information about how your personal data are processed, and to request a copy of that personal data.

You have the right to request that any inaccuracies in your personal data are rectified without delay.

You have the right to request that any incomplete personal data are completed, including by means of a supplementary statement.

You have the right to request that your personal data are erased if there is no longer a justification for them to be processed.

You have the right in certain circumstances (for example, where accuracy is contested) to request that the processing of your personal data is restricted.

You have the right to object to the processing of your personal data where it is processed for direct marketing purposes.

You have the right to object to the processing of your personal data.

In relation to data collected by website cookies:

You have the right to withdraw your consent. The easiest way to do this is to delete your browser cookies. Guidance on how to do that is here. If you want to ask us to delete your cookie data please contact us.

International transfers

As your personal data is stored on our IT infrastructure, and shared with our data processors, it may be transferred and stored securely outside the European Union. Where that is the case it will be subject to equivalent legal protection through the use of Model Contract Clauses.

Contact details

The data controller for personal data used to register on the register to vote service is the Cabinet Office. Where personal data is passed to Electoral Registration Officers, they be will be the responsible data controller.

The contact details for the Cabinet Office are:

Cabinet Office
70 Whitehall
London
SW1A 2AS
0207 276 1234
publiccorrespondence@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

The contact details for the Cabinet Office’s Data Protection Officer are:

Stephen Jones
Data Protection Officer
Cabinet Office, Room 405
70 Whitehall
London
SW1A 2AS
dpo@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

Stephen Jones, Data Protection Officer, Cabinet Office, Room 405, 70 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2AS, or dpo@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

The Data Protection Officer provides independent advice and monitoring of Cabinet Office’s use of personal information.

Complaints

If you consider that your personal data has been misused or mishandled, you may make a complaint to the Information Commissioner, who is an independent regulator. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
SK9 5AF
casework@ico.org.uk
0303 123 1113

Any complaint to the Information Commissioner is without prejudice to your right to seek redress through the courts.