Knowsley Council has succeeded in a legal battle to help protect the privacy of people on the electoral register.
Knowsley was one of a group of councils which has staved off a legal challenge from the company behind the directory website 192.com.
Electors are entitled to indicate that they do not want their details included in the published version of the electoral register. Once an elector opts out in this way, a number of councils assume that the elector does not want their details published until they "opt back in". 192.com Limited objected to that practice and wanted electors to be asked if they wanted to opt out each and every year.
Companies such as 192.com have a commercial interest in ensuring that as few people as possible opt out from the published register because they use the information from that register on their sites.
Towards the end of 2012, 192.com threatened the group of councils with legal proceedings if they did not sign an undertaking promising not to 'pre-tick' canvass forms. This would have meant that people who had previously opted out would have to tick the box again each and every year in order to continue to have their choice respected.
Councillor Andy Moorhead, Knowsley Council's Cabinet Member for Corporate and Customer Services, said:
"Knowsley Council takes very seriously the privacy of people on the electoral register.
"Our view is that if people have previously expressed a desire not to be included on the published version of the register, then it is our duty to protect their right to make that choice.
"There was an important principle at stake here and working together a number of local authorities across the country have defended it. The outcome is a triumph for our residents."