Sutton Council sells your electoral register details for £1,000
Sutton Council made more than £1,000 in the last five years by selling your details from the electoral register to private companies, an individual, a water company and a charity.
Councils are allowed to sell the edited electoral register for profit.
Details on the register include your name, address and age and the register only differs from the full register, which councils cannot sell other than to select bodies including Government departments, the police and credit referencing agencies, in that people can opt out of it.
Sutton Council sold the edited register 10 times between May 2007 and May 2012 to six private companies, an individual, Sutton and East Surrey Water, the Cancer Help Centre and data services firm Data Trans Ltd for a total of £1,330.
Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch released the figures and is calling on the Government to abolish the edited register or make it opt-in rather than opt-out.
Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, said: "Registering to vote is a basic part of our democracy and should not be a back door for the names and addresses of Sutton residents to be sold to anyone and everyone.
"Many people don’t realise that the edited register can be bought by everyone from pizza shops to estate agents.
"Local councils could do much more to educate people about this, and their right to permanently opt-out, rather than allowing people to unwittingly think that they are only registering to vote, rather than deciding to share their details with commercial organisations.
"The edited register is a pointless waste of council time, undermines trust in the electoral system and contributes to huge volumes of junk mail. It should be abolished."
In the current system people can opt-out of the edited electoral register by ticking a box on the voter registration form, sent out to households every year. This is one of the things Big Brother Watch wants to see changed.
At least 307 of the 433 councils in the UK sold the edited electoral register during the time period.
Westminster Council made the most sales of the information - 93 times.
A Sutton Council spokesman said: "Government legislation sets out the rules we follow in terms of information we pass to external bodies.
"We carried out the legislation as prescribed."
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