Saturday, 1 November 2008

Junk Mail, Telephone Advertising Calls and Privacy in the UK

Worthy of note:
IT Security Expert published an excellent article Why UK Privacy is Dead on the dangers of identity theft and the lack of privacy in the UK, whose risks are unintentionally heightened by such lists as the online electoral register. He includes links and telephone numbers for getting oneself removed from the lists of direct mail advertisers aka unsolicited junk mail and similar phone calls. Both take requests for removal online or by phone.
To get removed from the visible online electoral register at, one must apparently download a form and mail it in. The page where the form download link is located reveals that credit checking firms conducting credit checks can access the register and check your details even if you have opted out.

While unwanted mail and phone calls are annoying and time wasting, the criminal use of personal details to effect fraud through social engineering is far more damaging when it happens. The Electoral list, BT Phone Book and online job search websites can all be leveraged by fraudsters. One must consider the benefits and the risks of providing one's data or allowing it to remain public. Unfortunately, as IT security Expert notes, the default is that an individual's data is published and available unless it suits the commercial or organizational interest of the body that has collected the data.


Rob in Madrid said...

came across this yesterday thought it might be of interest to you

UK banks seize homes

He doens't provide a link to the story though.

Anonymous said...

I always thought the EU (of which the UK is part of whether they like it or not) had very very strong privacy laws. To the point of craziness. For example they have to ask for your permission to include you name in a company directory.

rob in Madrid

CanadianInvestor said...

Thanks Rob, found this lin, which confirms the reality, hard to believe as it is -

re privacy, will have to try tracing how my name got onto someone's mailing list. That could be interesting

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