This notice explains when we collect personal information, what we use your data for, who has access, who we share it with, and what your rights are.
Reading Borough Council
The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) and Returning Officer (RO) are the Data Controllers, who collect and use the information in order to meet their statutory duties in relation to preparing for and conducting elections. Both posts are held by the Assistant Director of Legal & Democratic Services.
The ERO has a statutory duty to take all necessary steps to compile and maintain a comprehensive and accurate electoral register for the local authority’s area.
The RO has the statutory responsibility to run all elections in Reading.
The lawful basis for processing your information is the performance of a public task, and is necessary to comply with a legal obligation as specified by electoral law and Regulation, including the following legislation:
We collect and process a range of information about citizens, electors and participants in elections. This is to enable Electoral Services to carry out its statutory duties and functions, provide you with a service, and continue to make service improvements. We keep 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).
Your records are used to meet our statutory duty to maintain a full and comprehensive electoral register and to allow you to vote in elections and referenda.
Information is collected from you as the service user via online web forms, hard copy documents, e-mail, by telephone or through face-to-face discussion and house-to-house/telephone canvassing. This information will be collected:
All information provided is used by Electoral Services to meet our legal and public service obligations. The ERO and RO are obliged to process your personal data to prepare for and conduct elections.
Personal data held on the electoral registration database may only be supplied or sold as provided by Sections 94 to 114 of the 2001 Regulations, and only for electoral purposes or other purposes specified in those Regulations. These are:
Reading Borough Council will not disclose any personal information held on its Electoral Registration database to any other third parties, except where required or allowed by law.
We are required by law to report certain information to appropriate authorities – for example:
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
The process of checking citizens’ personal identifiers to ensure eligibility for inclusion in the Electoral Register, is controlled by the Cabinet Office via the IER Digital Service.
Information will be processed within the EEA and will not be shared with overseas recipients.
The information is used to produce two registers: the full electoral register and the open (edited) register. The full register can be supplied to the following people and organisations:
The full register is also open to public inspection with the following requirements:
The open register can be sold to any person, organisation or company that requests it. You can choose whether or not to have your details included in the open register, however they will be included unless you ask for them to be removed. You are given the opportunity to opt out annually as part of the Canvass of all households. And you can opt out of this version of the register at any time by emailing: Electoralservices@reading.gov.uk.
Your information is managed by staff employed in Electoral Services.
All personal data is stored securely. We have in place security measures which are intended to ensure, as far as possible, the security and integrity of all personally identifiable information.
Your data is stored securely on our Xpress electoral administration database, which is accessed only by authorised officers of Reading Borough Council by using their own Username and Password, all created in-line with pre-defined user credentials. Personal data is also held in electronic files on the Council’s network drives. These are only accessible through personal logon credentials and access privileges to specific drives.
We cannot guarantee the security of your data that you transmit to our sites, which is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to prevent unauthorised access, and any exchanges of information carried out once we are in receipt of your data will be done securely and under encryption.
Any personal data held in paper format is held in lockable filing storage, and accessed only by authorised officers, as is data held on audio or CD/DVD media. Data may be stored in paper form and is always secured in lockable cabinets when not in use. Access to Council sites is also secure requiring a personal electronic pass (lanyard). Buildings are alarmed/Security on site and key codes used to access staff only areas.
Where Electoral Services engages third parties to process personal data on its behalf, they do so on the basis of written instructions, are under a duty of confidentiality, and are obliged to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure the security of data.
To ensure that information held is continued to be held securely and that accuracy is maintained, there will also be instances where our system suppliers will need to access an individual’s personal information. This will be on a strict need-to-know basis and all contracts have confidentiality clauses built in.
Your details will be kept and updated in accordance with our legal obligations and in line with statutory retention periods. The duration that the Council will hold information, and what happens at the end of that period, are as described within the Council’s publication scheme available on our website. The key periods are:
Electoral Services does not utilise automated decision-making in the services that it provides.
The Data Protection Act 2018 allows you to find out what information is held about you, on paper and computer records. This is known as ‘right of subject access’ and applies to your Electoral Services records along with all other personal records.
If you wish to see a copy of your records, you should contact the Data Protection Officer. You are entitled to receive a copy of your records free of charge, within a month.
In certain circumstances access to your records may be limited: for example, if the records you have asked for contain information relating to another person.
The Data Protection Act 2018 allows you other rights; for example, if there is an error in your records you have the right to make sure it is rectified or erased.
You have the right to opt out of the Open Version of the Register, at any time, and we must remove you from this version and tell the statutory recipients in the next update.
You have the right to be told if we have made a mistake whilst processing your data and we will self-report breaches to the Information Commissioner.
If you would like to know more about how we use your information, or if for any reason you do not wish to have your information used in any of the ways described in this leaflet, please tell us. Contact the Data Protection Officer:
Information Governance Officer Reading Borough Council,
Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading RG1 2LU
You can also complain to the Information Commissioner: https://ico.org.uk/