Data protection

  1. Data protection
  2. Privacy statement (You are here)

Privacy statement

The Council is committed to complying with the Data Protection Act 1998.

As a Council we will only process (collect, store and use) personal data in a manner that is compatible with the Data Protection Act 1998. This means that we will always strive to ensure that we handle personal data fairly and lawfully and with justification.

Our aim is not to be intrusive by invading your privacy or to undertake any task which is irrelevant. Instead our aim is to ensure we collect information that is of the highest quality in terms of accuracy, relevance, adequacy and non-excessive and which is "fit for purpose".

What other laws are relevant to the handling of personal information?

Personal data is managed in accordance with the following legislation:

  • The Data Protection Act 1998
  • The Human Rights Act 1998
  • Freedom of Information Act 2000
  • Computer Misuse Act 1998
  • Audit Commission Act 1998
  • Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000
  • Access to Health Records 1990
  • Crime and Disorder Act 1998

What is a privacy notice?

To ensure that we process your personal data fairly and lawfully we are required to inform you:

  • Why we need your data
  • How it will be used
  • Who it will be shared with

What sources do we use to collect personal data about you?

The information we collect about you comes from:

  • Forms you have completed and given to us
  • Claims you have made over the phone
  • Letters you have sent to us
  • Details of any checks we have made to ensure the accuracy of the information we hold
  • Computer records held by our service teams
  • CCTV images
  • Audio recordings

What is personal data?

Personal data is defined as any data, which relates to a living individual who can be identified:

  • From the information we hold
  • From that the information combined with any other information which is already in the possession of, or likely to come into the possession of, the person or organisation holding the information

Personal information also includes any expression of opinions about an individual, and any indication of the intentions of the data controller (the Council) or any other person in respect of the individual.

Examples of personal data include:

  • Names and home address details
  • National Insurance number
  • Bank account details
  • Dates of birth
  • Telephone numbers

What is sensitive information?

Certain types of data are categorised as "sensitive personal data", for example:

  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Physical or mental health or condition
  • Sexual life
  • Criminal offences, including alleged offences
  • Religious or other similar beliefs of a similar nature

What is the purpose of holding data?

The Council has notified the Information Commissioner that personal data will be held and used for the following purposes:

  • Maintaining our own accounts and records
  • Supporting and managing our employees
  • Promoting the services we provide
  • Marketing our local tourism
  • Carrying out health and public awareness campaigns
  • Managing our property
  • Providing leisure and cultural services
  • Provision of education
  • Carrying out surveys
  • Administering the assessment and collection of taxes and other revenue including benefits and grants
  • Licensing and regulatory activities
  • Local fraud initiatives
  • Provision of social services
  • Crime prevention and prosecution offenders including the use of CCTV
  • Corporate administration and all activities we are required to carry out as a data controller and public authority
  • Undertaking research
  • Provision of all commercial services, including the administration and enforcement of parking regulations and restrictions
  • Provision of all non-commercial activities, including refuse collections from residential properties
  • Internal financial support and corporate functions
  • Managing archived records for historical and research reasons
  • Data matching under local and national fraud initiatives

What types of personal data do we handle?

We process information relevant to the above reasons and purposes, which may include:

  • Personal details
  • Family details
  • Lifestyle and social circumstances
  • Goods and services received or requested
  • Financial details
  • Employment and education details
  • Housing needs
  • Visual images, personal appearance and behaviour
  • Licences or permits held
  • Student and pupil records
  • Business activities
  • Case file information

We also process sensitive classes of information that may include:

  • Physical or mental health details
  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Trade union membership
  • Political affiliation
  • Political opinions
  • Offences, including alleged offences
  • Religious or other beliefs of a similar nature
  • Criminal proceedings, outcomes and sentences

Whose personal data do we handle?

In order to carry out our duties as a Council we handle personal data from a range of individuals. This includes:

  • Customers
  • Suppliers
  • Staff, persons contracted to provide a service
  • Claimants
  • Complainants, enquirers or their representatives
  • Professional advisers and consultants
  • Students and pupils
  • Carers or representatives
  • Landlords
  • Recipients of benefits
  • Witnesses
  • Offenders and suspected offenders
  • Licence and permit holders
  • Traders and others subject to inspection
  • People captured by CCTV images
  • Representatives of other organisations

Why do we share information?

The Council works closely with a number of bodies and agencies to promote the social wellbeing of the community.

In order to ensure we achieve this goal it may be necessary to share information with our partner agencies to:

  • Check the accuracy of the data we hold
  • Preserve or save life and reduce accidents
  • Reduce crime and disorder
  • Ensure we meet our statutory and regulatory legal obligations, including those related to diversity and equality of opportunity
  • For law enforcement, regulation, licensing, criminal prosecution and court proceedings purposes
  • Improve health
  • Protect public funds from false claims and overpayments
  • Recover money owed to the Council
  • For research or statistical purposes - all personal identifiers are removed in this instance. For example, for consultation informing or gauging your opinion on our products and services
  • To provide more streamlined services with our partners and agencies. For example, we may employ agencies to act on the Council's behalf

The Council will only use the data it holds to fulfil these functions efficiently and effectively

Whom may we share the information with?

We obtain and share personal data with a wide variety of sources, which include but are not limited to:

  • Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • Home Office
  • Child Support Agency
  • Central government, government agencies and departments
  • Other local authorities and public bodies
  • Ombudsman and other regulatory authorities
  • Courts
  • Prisons
  • Licensing authorities
  • Credit reference agencies
  • Utility providers
  • Educational, training and academic bodies
  • Health and welfare service providers, such as the NHS
  • Employment services, such as Jobcentre Plus
  • Law enforcement agencies, including the Police and the Serious Organised Crime Agency
  • Emergency services, such as The Fire and Rescue Service
  • Auditors, such as the Department for Work and Pensions
  • Voluntary and charitable agencies
  • The Assets Recovery Agency
  • Individuals themselves
  • Relatives, guardians or associated people with the individual where there is a legal duty to do so
  • Data processors that work on behalf of the Council
  • Care organisations

How much information is shared?

Information is only shared on a need to know basis, and at a very basic level. As little in information as is necessary is shared.

What are the benefits of sharing information?

By sharing data securely and effectively we will as a Council:

  • Provide better quality and more streamlined services
  • Ensure that public money is not wasted
  • Avoid having to ask for money back which has been paid incorrectly
  • Provide a better a way of life

You will always have the right to opt out of any data sharing initiatives where no statutory requirement exists. But do remember this is only for the purpose of improving our services to you.

Your personal data will not be used for any sale or marketing purposes and we will not pass your information onto third parties unless we have your consent to do so or we are required by law to do so. For example, fraud or crime purposes.

How do we ensure the security of personal data?

The Council takes the security of its personal data very seriously. We seek to comply with all parts of the Information Security Standards ISO 27001/27002.

The Council has security procedures and an Information Security Policy to ensure we protect our manual and electronic data from accidental loss or misuse. We only permit access to information with there is a legitimate reason to do so.

What if the data we hold about you is incorrect?

It is important to us that the data we hold about you is accurate and up to date. If you are moving house or changing your name please contact the Council immediately so we can update our records.

How long will your data be held?

In some instances the law sets the length of time information has to be kept, but in most cases the Council will use its discretion to ensure that we do not keep records outside of our normal business requirements (providing a service to you). Your information will be only held for as long as necessary and will be disposed of in a secure manner when it is no longer needed.

The Council applies minimum retention periods to specific records, which are specified in the Council's retention guidelines.

Are you entitled to all the information that is held about you?

In most cases yes, however data subject access requests are subjected to the exemptions of the Data Protection Act 1998.

In some cases we may have to redact names or withhold information where it relates to:

  • A third party or where the information has been provided in confidence
  • The prevention and detection of fraud
  • The catching or prosecution of offenders
  • The assessment and collect of taxes and duties
  • The ways benefit fraud is detected or prevented
  • The health and safety of Council staff
  • Where the disclosure of medical opinions may cause distress or serious harm to a person

Of course we will try to provide you with as much information as possible.

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