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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 November 2007, 20:19 GMT
ID theft fear over planning form
Bruce Drew
Bruce Drew said his phone number and signature were online
A Brighton man fears becoming a victim of identity theft because his details have been published on the internet by the city council.

Bruce Drew's details were on a planning application which was put on the web without any information being removed.

A council spokesman said similar details appeared "on every planning authority's website in the country".

He said the council was checking to confirm its belief that data protection guidelines were not being breached.

Mr Drew, whose listed building application was for a new kitchen, said he found the form online - including his telephone number and signature - two years after it had been submitted.

Such details have been available for decades in paper form
Brighton council statement

He said: "We all spend an awful lot of time trying to make sure we don't have this information available in all kinds of other places.

"For an organisation like the council to publish this information, I was very disappointed."

He said he had received unsolicited approaches for business from builders, architects and window firms.

"It's obvious now where the information has been available from," he said.

And he added: "What concerns me more is what I don't know about at the moment and may find out about in the future - that they've been able to gain information and use it in other kinds of ways."

A statement issued by Brighton and Hove City Council said: "We need to be clear that such details on online planning registers are not peculiar to Brighton and Hove.

"Similar details will appear on every planning authority's website in the country, as most planning application forms are similar.

"Such details have been available for decades in paper form for anyone visiting any council planning departments and this remains the case."

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