Under the Data Protection Act 1998, personal data is defined as data that relates to a living individual who can be identified:
(a) from those data, or
(b) from those data and other information which is in the possession of, or likely to come into the possession of, the data controller,
and includes any expression of opinion about the individual, and any indication of the intentions of the data controller or any other person in respect of the individual. (Section 1(1)).
Personal data will therefore cover basic details such as name, address, telephone number, and date of birth.
Certain data are classified under the Act as 'sensitive personal data', for example:
Consent is required for both types of personal data, and must be provided for sensitive data. Where we are asking you for sensitive personal data, we will always tell you why and how the information will be used.
View a detailed definition of sensitive personal data.
For some of our services, we need to collect personal data so we can get in touch, or provide the service. For example, we can't come to your house if we don't know your address. We always try to make sure the information we collect is correct and isn't an invasion of your privacy.
We may pass your personal data onto the people who provide the service. These providers are obliged to keep your details securely, and use them only to fulfil your request. Once your request has been dealt with or the case has been closed, they will dispose of the details. If we wish to pass your sensitive personal data onto a third party, we will only do so once we have obtained your consent, unless we are legally required to do so.
The council will process (that means collect, store and use) the information you provide in a manner that is compatible with the Data Protection Act. We will endeavour to keep your information accurate and up to date and not keep it for longer than is necessary. 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 - i.e. providing a service to you.
Our aim is not to be intrusive, and we won't ask irrelevant or unnecessary questions. Moreover, the information you provide will be subject to rigorous measures and procedures to make sure it can't be seen, accessed or disclosed to anyone who shouldn't see it. Our privacy statement sets out our commitment to you when you access our services via the Internet.
We will use the information you provide for the following purposes:
The council want to provide appropriate, timely and effective services - it is important to us that we co-ordinate what we do for you properly. To do this, we have to make sure information is stored in a central database. This means, for example, that the system will report any change of address to all the services that use the database, so you won't have to repeat it every time you phone up the council.
Over time we aim to have one master record containing your basic details, and information about your transactions. The database is not meant to detail the services you have received - instead to make sure we're not asking you to repeat basic information all the time. It will also help us to tailor our services to meet your needs, and ensure that your requests are being dealt with, and not lost in 'the system'.
You always have the right to opt out of this or any other data sharing initiatives - by not providing the information. Though do remember, we won't use your information for third party marketing purposes, or pass it on to third parties, other than those who either process information on our behalf or because of a legal requirement.
As you are aware the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster City Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea have announced plans for shared working across some service areas. This will be on a Bi-borough (with two of the above councils) or on a shared service basis (with all of three of the above councils).
To enable the partnership to work effectively and efficiently whilst maintaining a high standard of customer service, some of your personal information will be shared across the councils. The partnership is committed to abiding with legislation and will collect, use, share, protect and dispose of your personal data in full compliance with the Data Protection Act as cited above. You will be notified or requested to provide consent, where appropriate, as the shared services are developed.
For further information on how this may affect you, please contact the departments directly.
If you would like to know more or have any concerns about how your information is being processed please contact us.