Elections privacy notice

Canvass reform amendments

A canvass reform data test (CRDT) took place in January 2020 as part of the Cabinet Office’s requirement of the canvass reform. The CRDT involved both national and local data matching.

National data matching occured from January 2020 when canvass reform regulations took effect. Local data matching may occur at any stage from the canvass commencement date on an annual basis.

Canvass reform follows the same processes of data use outlined above in how we use your data but also includes a number of new amendments. These amendments are in order to successfully implement the following:

  • successful confirmation of names and addresses of persons entitled to be registered on the electoral register who are not already registered
  • successful confirmation of those who appear on the electoral register who are no longer entitled to be registered at a particular address, typically due to moving properties.

This will involve processing personal information relating to data matching of information held on registered electors or attainers (individuals of 16-17 years of age) against:

  • a national database - the Department of Work and Pensions’ customer information system (DWP CIS)
  • local datasets - e.g. council tax and housing benefit records or other datasets held by us

Data matching will occur at an individual elector level and will involve matching of the following:

  • the name (including previous names), date of birth (where held) and address (in the form of string address and unique property reference number (where available) (including previous address)) against the DWP CIS database
  • the name and string address at a minimum for local data
  • scores which deem the elector either matched or unmatched (aggregated at household level)

Canvass communications will also be issued to you and, depending on the level of data matching achieved, and the information we hold this communication could be via methods including written and/or email, SMS or any other form of digital communication.

Canvass communications will require the following information:

  • full name and nationality of each registered elector aged 16 or over
  • ‘the aged 76 or over’ age indicator
  • ‘the aged under 16/17’ age indicator
  • previous names
  • email address
  • mobile telephone number

Personal information will then be processed under the following lawful bases in compliance with legal obligation(s) under:

  • the Juries Act 1974
  • the Representation of the People Act 1983
  • the Representation of the People Regulations 2001
  • the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013

For the performance of a public interest task which has a clear basis in law (as above) or in the exercise of official authority vested in the Data Controller (e.g. maintaining the register of electors, in the public interest, as provided for in electoral law).

Data provided will be processed by the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service managed by the Cabinet Office. As part of this, your data will be shared with the Department for Work and Pensions for the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service.

The processing of personal information for public interest tasks, such as those outlined in the legislation provided above, allow the right for an individual to object on ‘grounds relating to your particular situation’. It is then up to the Electoral Registration Officer to demonstrate why the continued use of your personal data is appropriate.