Has council sold private information?
EXETER City Council has been accused of breaching the privacy of residents by selling their names and addresses.
Councils across the South West have sold the information on the edited electoral role to dozens of companies, charities and individuals.
Privacy campaigner Big Brother Watch (BBW), which compiled the study from Freedom of Information requests, called for a change in the law.
But local authorities said their hands were tied – and said anyone can have their name removed from the edited version of the electoral register, which is available for sale.
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According to BBW, Exeter City Council made six sales of the edited register for a total of £647. That compares to the £407 made by Plymouth City Council, who also sold edited the roll six times, pointing out that the edited roll has to be available for general sale.
Mid Devon District Council was paid £570 for sales to "unspecified" customers.
BBW director Nick Pickles said: "Registering to vote is a basic part of our democracy and should not be a back door for our names and addresses to be sold to anyone and everyone.
"Many people don't realise that the pizza shops and estate agents drowning their doorsteps with junk mail are able to do so because their council is forced to sell the names of every voter who fails to tick the right box when registering to vote."