Electoral Services - ​​​​​​​Privacy notice

Who we are

Croydon Council Electoral Services are responsible for producing on behalf of the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) the Electoral Register, which is the list of all people who are eligible to vote in elections in the borough of Croydon. This includes, but is not limited to, an annual canvass of all residential addresses to identify who should be registered to vote, contacting potential electors to invite them to register, reviewing the registration eligibility of electors and processing applications to register to vote.

Electoral Services are also responsible for the administration of elections and referendums on behalf of the Council’s Returning Officer (RO). This includes, but is not limited to, the nomination of candidates, production and dispatch of poll cards and postal votes, production of ballot papers, administration of the polling and absent voting processes and the organisation of the counting of votes.

We use information about our 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 personal 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).

The Chief Executive of Croydon Council is the ERO and RO with the legal powers to collect this data, and is the data controller. The data controller decides the purpose and manner your personal data are, or are to be, processed in compliance with data protection law.

This Privacy Notice explains how we use your personal information and how we protect your privacy in compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018. This notice applies to any activity involving our use of your personal data, for example, collecting, storing, sharing, and destroying it. We also provide additional information that relates specifically to our service and should be read together with the Council’s Corporate Privacy Notice available at www.croydon.gov.uk/privacy

What information we collect about you

  • basic details about you (name, address, date of birth and nationality)
  • unique identifiers (such as your NI number),
  • copies of evidence of identification, such as passports or driving licences to support registration applications
  • scanned application forms and 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
  • other occupants in your home
  • if you are over 76 or under 16/17
  • whether you have chosen to opt out of the open register, part of the Electoral Register (see section Electoral Register, below)
  • political opinions such as information contained within subscribed nomination papers
  • health data that may be contained within applications to vote by proxy
  • contact telephone and email address so that we may contact you regarding electoral matters such as queries about registration or absent vote applications, and reminders regarding the annual electoral registration canvass.

The powers that allow us to collect, process and retain your personal data come from the following legislation and any subsequent replacement legislation for the purposes of carrying out our functions:

Local Government Act 1972

Representation of the People Act 1983

Electoral Administration Act 2006

Electoral Administration Act 2013

Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001

Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 and 2006

Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) (No 2) 2006

European Parliamentary Elections (Registration of Citizens of Accession States) Regulations 2003

European Parliamentary Elections Regulations 2004

Police (Scotland) Regulations 2004

European Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Regulations 2009

Local Elections (Principal Areas) Rules 2006

Local Authorities (Mayoral Elections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007

Greater London Authority Elections Rules 2007

The Local Authorities (Mayoral Elections) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2011

The Local Elections (Principal Areas) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Rules 2011

Greater London Authority Elections (Amendment) Rules 2012

Neighbourhood Planning (Referendums) Regulations 2012

Why we collect your information

We use your data for electoral registration and administration purposes including but not limited to:

  • maintenance of the Electoral Register (there are two versions, the full version and the open version – you can find the difference between the two on the Electoral Commission website
  • administration of local and national elections and referenda
  • maintenance of records of absent and proxy voters
  • if you are an election agent, counting agent, polling agent, postal vote agent, nominating officer or similar official to manage election processes in which you will be involved.
  • if you make an enquiry or complaint, dealing with that enquiry or complaint
  • if you are employed by our service (including staff employed directly by the ERO or the RO) and managing that employment

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 your data will be shared with the Department of Work 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 here: https://www.registertovote.service.gov.uk/register-to-vote/privacy.

Political parties and their candidates are also required to provide information when they wish to stand for election. Electoral law determines what data we have to request and how long we retain it.

Who we share your data with

The information you provide is held in electoral registers which are managed by electoral registration officers who compile and maintain two registers – the full register and the open (edited) register.

The full register is published once a year and is updated every month and can only be supplied to the following people and organisations:

  • British Library
  • UK Statistics Authority
  • Electoral Commission
  • Boundary Commission for England
  • Jury Central Summoning Bureau
  • Elected Representatives (MP, MEPS, Local Councillors)
  • Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Candidates standing for elections
  • Local and National Political Parties and Registered Campaigners
  • The Council
  • Parish and community councils
  • Police forces and the National Crime Agency
  • Public Library or local authority archive services
  • Government departments or bodies
  • Credit reference agencies
  • National Fraud Initiative
  • Partner Electoral Registration and Returning Officers
  • In relation to the open version of the electoral register, to any person paying the statutory fee
  • In relation to the full version of the electoral register, to government departments and other specified public bodies; payment of a statutory fee may apply in some cases
  • In relation to the full version of the electoral register, to credit reference agencies upon payment of the statutory fee
  • To members of the public inspecting the electoral register (please note that the full electoral register can only be inspected under supervision and extracts may only be taken by way of handwritten notes).

We also have to share your information with our Electoral Management software provider and any of our contracted printers for the purposes of carrying out our duties of electoral registration and elections.

It is a crime for anyone who has a copy of the full register to pass information from this register on to others, if they do not have a lawful reason.

Electoral Register and Open Register

Registration officers keep two registers – the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited register). Find out more about the difference between the ‘open register’ and the electoral register.

The open register is an extract of the electoral register but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. The personal data in the register must always be processed in line with data protection legislation.

Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register would not affect your right to vote. If you decide to opt out of the open register at any time, we must remove you from this version and tell the statutory recipients in the next update.

If you wish to opt out, please contact us at electoral.services@croydon.gov.uk or 020 8760 5591.

The lawful basis on which we use this information

  • Compliance with our legal obligations e.g. sharing personal information:
    • where a Court order has been issued
    • with law enforcement agencies for the prevention or detection of a crime  
    • with the Jury Central Summoning Bureau indicating those persons who are aged 76 or over and are no longer eligible for jury service
  • Tasks carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority
  • Contract for the supply of services
  • Consent

Storing your data

The Electoral Registration Officer and 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 statutory retention periods. If you require more information about our retention schedule, please contact us at electoral.services@croydon.gov.uk or 020 8760 5591.

Providing us with accurate information

It is very important that you provide us with accurate and up-to-date information so that our staff are able to provide you with the help, advice or support you need. If any of your details have changed, or change in the future, please inform us as soon as possible so that we can update your records.

Requesting access to your personal data

Under GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, you have the right to request access to information that we hold about you. To make a request for your personal information, contact the Council’s Information Management Team at SAR@croydon.gov.uk.

Further information

The GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 give you a number of rights to control what personal information is used by us and how it is used by us. Information about your data rights is listed in the Council’s Corporate Privacy Notice on the Council’s website at www.croydon.gov.uk/privacy.

If you have any questions or concerns about the way we collect, store or use your personal information, please contact in the first instance
electoral.services@croydon.gov.uk or 020 8760 5591.

For independent advice about data protection issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at www.ico.org.uk.

We reserve the right to amend this Privacy Notice at any time and will keep it under review. If we do make any changes, we will post the current version to our website at this address.

Last updated: August 2019