Electoral Registration Officer privacy notice

This privacy notice sits beneath the Council’s top level privacy notice and provides information about how personal data is used by the Electoral Registration Officer to:

  • publish the electoral register
  • conduct an annual canvass
  • maintain the electoral register through the year by rolling registration

Please see the main privacy notice for details on your rights.



Under the Representation of the People Act 1983 each Local Authority must by law appoint an Electoral Registration Officer (ERO).

This is a personal appointment separate to Hackney Council with its own statutory functions.

The Electoral Registration Officer also has a ‘responsibility’ to meet the standards set by the Electoral Commission.

Data held by the Electoral Registration Officer is not shared with the Council except where specified below.

Electoral Registration Officer

The Electoral Registration Officers is personally responsible for ensuring that they comply with the requirements of GDPR.

Tim Shields is appointed by Hackney Council as the Electoral Registration Officer and is the registered ‘data controller’ with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Our core data protection obligations and commitments are set out in our primary privacy notice.

This notice provides additional privacy information as regards electoral services for:

  • persons registering to vote
  • candidates standing in elections

Lawful basis for processing personal information

  • to undertake the statutory obligation to ensure that all eligible persons in Hackney borough are registered to vote
  • to enable eligible persons to stand as candidates in elections in accordance with statutory requirements

The legal basis for processing personal information relating to electoral registration is contained in the following legislation:

  • Representation of the People Act 1983
  • Representation of the People Act 1985
  • Representation of the People Act 2000
  • European Parliamentary Elections (franchise of Relevant Citizens of the Union) Regulations 2001
  • Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001
  • Electoral Administration Act 2006

Personal data

Although not an exhaustive list, we hold the following personal information in accordance with relevant laws and retention schedules:

  • registered and pending electors names and addresses
  • registered and pending electors date of birth and nationality
  • national insurance numbers
  • signatures and date of birth of absent voters (postal, proxy, postal proxy voters)
  • household Enquiry Forms (HEF’s) and Invitations to Register (ITR’s)
  • notes about any relevant circumstances given by the applicant
  • previous or any redirected address
  • electors aged over 76 and aged 16/17
  • overseas electors and their qualifying and overseas addresses
  • email addresses/ telephone numbers
  • telephone numbers
  • anonymous electors
  • service voters
  • local connection voters
  • marked copies of polling station registers
  • marked copies of absent voter records
  • candidates / agents records
  • staffing details for those employed to assist in the annual canvass

We’ll retain any documents that contain your personal information (eg HEF and ITR forms) for only as long as it takes for your registration application to be determined and to answer queries, following which we securely dispose of the documents.

We retain electronic information about persons on the electoral register after they have been deleted to enable checking at a later date and also, for example, to check the 15 year qualification for overseas electors.

Why do we collect this information?

To enable you to be on the electoral register and to be able to vote we need to verify your identity. All our processes are undertaken in accordance with legislation.

Since June 2014, all eligible persons have been required to individually register to vote and requirements were introduced which mean that a national insurance number and date of birth need to be provided. On occasions, we may also require additional evidence of identity.

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 on Gov.uk register to vote.

We ask for email and telephone details as it enables us to contact you easily and quickly should we need to but you do not have to provide this information as part of an application to register to vote.

The electoral register

The full register of electors lists the names and addresses of everyone who has registered to vote as ordinary electors.

It also contains the names of those registered as special category electors, except in the case of those registered anonymously, in which case it includes only an entry, without showing their names or addresses.

The register is used for electoral purposes, making sure only eligible people can vote. It’s also used for other limited purposes specified in law:

  • detecting crime (eg fraud)
  • calling people for jury service
  • checking credit application

The full register is a public document and in accordance with law, the full electoral register has to be made available for public inspection.

Inspection is done under supervision, and those who inspect the register can make handwritten notes but cannot take copies or photographs of the register.

The open and full versions of the register don’t contain your telephone number and / or email address.

The open register

This is an extract of the full register but is not used for elections.

Requests to purchase the open register can be made by any person, company or organisation.

Your name and address can be removed from the open register. To opt out from being included in the open register email electoralservices@hackney.gov.uk

Who is lawfully entitled to receive the full electoral register?

We’re required by law to provide copies of the full electoral register to certain organisations and individuals.

They may use it for their own purposes which are different to ours but they still have to look after the data contained in the register in the same way that we do.

The following organisations and individuals are only able to be supplied copies of the full register of electors:

  • British Library
  • UK Statistics Authority
  • Electoral Commission
  • Boundary Commission for England
  • Jury Summoning Bureau
  • Elected Representatives (MP, MEPS, Local Councillors)
  • Police and Crime Commissioner
  • candidates standing for elections
  • local and national political parties
  • the Council
  • parish and community councils
  • police forces, National Crime Agency
  • public library or local authority archive services
  • Government departments or bodies
  • licensed credit reference agencies
  • National Fraud Initiative
  • electoral registration and returning officers
  • the local authority who appointed the Electoral Registration Officer

Your rights

Please see our main privacy notice for more details on your right:

  • to be informed
  • to access your personal data
  • to rectify your personal data if it is incorrect
  • to restrict our processing of your personal data

If you do find that the information we hold on you is incorrect, you should inform us as soon as possible to update our records.

How to raise a concern

If you wish to raise a concern about the Electoral Registration Officer’s handling of your personal information, please contact electoralservices@hackney.gov.uk.

Whether you’re exercising your rights or raising a concern, you’ll normally need to include documents that prove your identity as well as a clear and precise description of your request/concern.

We’ll process requests in accordance with the legislative framework and statutory timescales and inform you should an extension of time be necessary.

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing issues, you can visit Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), or contact:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 (national rate)
Email: casework@ico.org.uk.

Page updated on: 4 August 2022