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Our policies, plans and strategies - Privacy Notice

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Harborough District Council Privacy Notice

Harborough District Council is committed to protecting your privacy when you use our services.

The Privacy Notice below explains how we use information about you and how we protect your privacy.

We have a Data Protection Officer who makes sure we respect your rights and follow the law. If you have any concerns or questions about how we look after your personal information, please contact the Data Protection Officer, at FOI@harborough.gov.uk or by calling 01858 828282 and asking to speak to the Data Protection Officer/ Information Governance Officer.

Why we use your personal information

What is personal information?

Personal information can be anything that identifies and relates to a living person. This can include information that when put together with other information can then identify a person. For example, this could be your name and contact details. 

What is special (sensitive) information?

Some information is ‘special’ and needs more protection due to its sensitivity. It’s often information you would not want widely known and is very personal to you. This is likely to include anything that can reveal your:

  • sexuality and sexual health
  • religious or philosophical beliefs
  • ethnicity
  • physical or mental health
  • trade union membership
  • political opinion
  • genetic/biometric data
  • criminal history

Why does the Council need your personal information?

We may need to use some information about you to:

  • deliver services and support to you;
  • manage those services we provide to you;
  • train and manage the employment of our workers who deliver those services;
  • help investigate any worries or complaints you have about your services;
  • keep track of spending on services;
  • check the quality of services; and
  • to help with research and planning of new services.

How the law allows us to use your personal information.

There are a number of legal reasons why we need to collect and use your personal information. Generally we collect and use personal information in the circumstances where:-

  • you, or your legal representative, have given consent
  • you have entered into a contract with us
  • it is necessary to perform our statutory duties
  • it is necessary to protect someone in an emergency
  • it is required by law
  • it is necessary for employment purposes
  • it is necessary to deliver health or social care services 
  • you have made your information publicly available
  • it is necessary for legal cases
  • it is for the benefit of society as a whole
  • it is necessary to protect public health
  • it is necessary for archiving, research, or statistical purposes

If we have consent to use your personal information, you have the right to remove it at any time. If you want to remove your consent, please contact either FOI@harborough.gov.uk or complaints@harborough.gov.uk and tell us which service you’re using so we can deal with your request.

We only use what we need!

Where we can, we’ll only collect and use personal information if we need it to:

  • provide council services and anything we must do by law.
  • carry out our regulatory, licensing and enforcement roles which we have to do by law
  • make payments, grants and benefits and spot fraud
  • listen to your ideas about council services
  • tell you about council services.

What you can do with your information

The law gives you a number of rights to control what personal information is used by us and how it is used by us. These are discussed below.

You can ask for access to the information we hold on you

We would normally expect to share what we record about you with you whenever we assess your needs or provide you with services. However, you also have the right to ask for all the information we have about you and the services you receive from us. However, we can’t let you see any parts of your record which contain:

  • Confidential information about other people; or
  • Data a  professional thinks will cause serious harm to your or someone else’s physical or mental wellbeing; or
  • If we think that giving you the information may stop us from preventing or detecting a crime

Information you think is inaccurate

You should let us know if you disagree with something written on your file. We may not always be able to change or remove that information but we’ll correct factual inaccuracies and may include your comments in the record to show that you disagree with it. Please use one of the email addresses earlier to raise any issues of this type, or fill out the online complaint form.

You can ask to delete information (right to be forgotten)

In some circumstances you can ask for your personal information to be deleted, for example:

  • Where your personal information is no longer needed for the reason why it was collected in the first place
  • Where you have removed your consent for us to use your information and there is no other lawful reason for us to be processing your information. 
  • Where there is no legal reason for the use of your information.
  • Where deleting the information is a legal requirement.

Where your personal information has been shared with others, we’ll do what is reasonable to ensure that those using your personal information comply with your request for erasure.

Please note that we can’t delete your information where:

  • we’re required to retain it by law
  • it is used for freedom of expression 
  • it is in the for public health purposes
  • it is for, scientific or historical research, or statistical purposes where it would make information unusable
  • it is necessary for the pursuit of any legal claims

You can ask to limit what we use your personal data for

You have the right to ask us to restrict what we use your personal information for where:

  • you have identified inaccurate information, and have told us of it.
  • where we have no legal reason to use that information but you want us to restrict what we use it for rather than erase the information altogether.

When information is restricted it can’t be used other than to securely store the data and with your consent to handle legal claims and protect others, or where it’s for important public interests of the UK.

You have the right to ask us to stop using your personal information for any council service. However, if this request is approved this may cause delays or prevent us delivering that service. 

You can ask to have your information moved to another provider (data portability)

You have the right to ask for your personal information to be given back to you or another service provider of your choice in a commonly used format. This is called data portability.

However this only applies if we’re using your personal information with consent (not if we’re required to by law) and if decisions were made by a computer and not a human being. 

Who do we share your information with?

We share your data between services within the council so that we can keep our information on you as up-to-date as possible and so that we can improve our services to you. For example, if you tell the housing team you have moved, they may pass this information on to other parts of the council such as the council tax team. Staff can only see your data if they need it to do their job.

Organisations we share data with

We are allowed to share data with many partners who help us to deliver services to you. These will usually be under the provisions of an Information Sharing Agreement.

By law we may also have to pass your data to law enforcement organisations e.g. The Police, the Immigration Service or Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

We also have to send data and statistical collections to some Government departments by law. You can see those here:

Transferring data abroad

Your data may be transferred outside of the UK, for example, if we use a cloud service that has host servers located in another country. If your data is transferred outside of the European Union, it is done so under contract, which states how those companies must keep your data safe.

Information security

We’ll do what we can to make sure we hold records about you (on paper and electronically) in a secure way, and we’ll only make them available to those who have a right to see them. Examples of our security include: 

  • Encryption, meaning that information is hidden so that it cannot be read without special knowledge (such as a password). This is done with a secret code or what’s called a ‘cypher’. The hidden information is said to then be ‘encrypted’
  • Pseudonymisation, meaning that we’ll use a different name so we can hide parts of your personal information from view. This means that someone outside of the Council could work on your information for us without ever knowing it was yours
  • Controlling access to systems and networks allows us to stop people who are not allowed to view your personal information from getting access to it
  • Training for our staff allows us to make them aware of how to handle information and how and when to report when something goes wrong
  • Regular testing of our technology and ways of working including keeping up to date on the latest security updates (commonly called patches)

How long do we keep your personal information?

There’s often a legal reason for keeping your personal information for a set period of time, we try to include all of these in our Document Retention Schedule.

For each service the schedule lists how long your information may be kept for. This ranges from months for some records to decades for more sensitive records. Some records are kept forever, i.e where they form part of public register such as the planning register. 

Where can I get advice?

If you have any worries or questions about how your personal information is handled please contact our Data Protection Officer at FOI@harborough.gov.uk or by calling 01858 828282.

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at:

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number.

Alternatively, visit ico.org.uk or email casework@ico.org.uk 

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You can stop cookies being downloaded on to your computer or other device by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser. If you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website.

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Further guidance on the use of personal information can be found at ico.org.uk.

This privacy notice will be regularly reviewed and updated. This revision was last updated on 24th April 2018.

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