Lambeth Council rakes in thousands selling your personal data to third parties each year, raising more than £10,000 in the last four years.

A freedom of information request showed the council has made as much as £2,777 a year selling electoral information of those living in the borough.

Electoral roll data includes names and addresses of people signed up to vote in elections.

The council is was required by law to provide and to sell the information, including to credit referencing agencies.

A spokesman said: “The sale of the Electoral Register is restricted and regulated by law. But councils are legally required to sell the electoral register to certain organisations such as credit reference agencies, and must also make an edited version of the register available for purchase by anyone.

“Voters can choose to opt out of the edited register when applying to be registered to vote or, if they are already registered, by contacting their local Electoral Registration Officer.

“As a council we don’t actively promote the sale of details as the information is primarily collected for voting purposes. The amount of money generated through register sales is tiny but nevertheless goes towards the preparation, publication and maintenance of the electoral register,” he added.

But Privacy watchdog Big Brother Watch said we are not sure how many people want their data sold.

It has made calls for the open register to be opt in, rather than opt out.

“No public authority should sell residents’ personal information to private entities for profit. This sale of data leaves us open to targeted advertising and undermines trust in councils,” director, Silkie Carlo, said.

“The open register should be opt in rather than opt out – that way, we could truly see how many people want their data sold for marketing purposes,” she added.

Lambeth made £2777.50 in 2018 through selling electoral data to credit referencing agencies.  In 2017 it made £2186, as well as £2390 in 2016 and £2717 in 2015.

The council makes significantly less in open register sales, making £24.50 in 2015, nothing in 2016, £32 in 2017 and £207.50 in 2018.