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Survey could pose 'burglary risk'

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Householders are being encouraged to leave personal data on their doorsteps as part of a survey, leaving them vulnerable to potential identity theft and burglary.

The Household Insight Survey is a five-page questionnaire - compiled by TNT Post - sent to families across the nation asking for personal information including date of birth, phone numbers, income levels and mortgage providers. The poll was featured on the BBC's Watchdog programme.

People are asked to leave the completed forms on their doorsteps from where they will be collected the next morning.

Together with other data, respondents are also asked to fill in details about what months they book their annual holidays. If such details land in the wrong hands it is thought homes could become vulnerable to burglary, leading to home insurance claims.

Mark Davies, the managing director of Doordrop Media, part of TNT Post, said: "The Household Insight Survey has now been running for 12 years. It is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act.

"The collection process has been refined working with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and it is regularly reviewed by leading independent security consultants to ensure that we are following best practice."

The ICO said anyone should "think twice" before leaving such information on their doorstep.

© Press Association 2010