What is Data Protection?
What is data protection?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an EU wide law designed to strengthen the data rights of EU citizens and provide them with a greater level of control over their personal data. It applies to all organisations that collect or process personal data about EU citizens. This sits alongside the Data Protection Action 2018, which replaced the previous Data Protection Act 1998.
Why we use personal information
We may need to use some information about you to:
- deliver services and support to you;
- manage those services;
- 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.
What are our legal reasons for processing personal information?
There are a number of legal reasons why we need to collect and use personal data. Each privacy notice explains for each service which legal reason is being used. Generally we collect and use personal information in the following circumstances:
- Where you, or your legal representative, have given consent
- Where you have entered into a contract with us
- Where it is necessary to perform our statutory duties
- Where it is necessary to protect someone in an emergency
- Where it is required by law
- Where it is necessary for employment purposes
- Where you have made your data publicly available
- Where it is necessary to establish, exercise or defend a legal claim
- Where it is in the substantial public interest
- Where it is necessary to protect public health
- Where it is necessary for archiving public interest material, research, or statistical purposes
Where we are using your consent to process your personal data, you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. If you wish to withdraw your consent, please contact email@example.com so that your request can be dealt with.
What is Personal Information?
Personal information is often records that can identify and relate to a living person. This can also include information that when put together with other information can then identify a person.
What are Special Categories of Information?
This is personal information that needs more protection due to its sensitivity. This information is likely to include:
- sexuality and sexual health
- religious or philosophical beliefs
- physical or mental health
- trade union membership
- political opinion
- genetic/biometric data
How we limit the use of personal information
Where necessary, we process personal data to deliver our services effectively; but wherever possible, the data that we process will be anonymised, pseudonymised or de-personalised. This means the information can no longer identify a person.
When using personal data for research purposes, the data will be anonymised/ pseudonymised to avoid the identification of a person, unless you have agreed that your personal information can be used for the research project.
We do not sell personal data to any other organisation for the purposes of selling products.
Your privacy rights
The law provides you with a number of rights to control the processing of your personal information:
Accessing the information we hold about you
You have the right to ask for all the information we have about you. When we receive a request from you in writing, we must normally give you access to everything we have recorded about you. However, we will not let you see any parts of your record which contain:
- Confidential information about other people; or
- Data or information professional thinks will cause serious harm to your or someone else’s physical or mental wellbeing; or
- If we think that the prevention or detection of crime may be adversely affected by disclosing data to you.
This applies to paper and electronic records. If you ask us, we will also let others see your record (except if one of the points above applies). If you cannot ask for your records in writing, we will make sure there are other ways you can apply. If you have any queries regarding access to your information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0333 032 2970.
Changing information you believe to be 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 the information; however, we will correct factual inaccuracies and may include your comments in the records. Please contact your school if you believe some information is inaccurate or not up to date.
Asking for your information to be deleted (right to be forgotten)
In some circumstances you can request the erasure of the personal information used by the Organisation, for example:
- Where the personal information is no longer needed for the purpose for which it was collected
- Where you have withdrawn your consent to the use of your information (where there is no other legal basis for the processing)
- Where there is no legal basis for the use of your information
- Where erasure is a legal obligation
Where personal information has been shared with others, the Organisation shall make every reasonable effort to ensure those using your personal information comply with your request for erasure.
Please note that the right to erasure does not extend to using your personal information where:
- Is required by law
- It is used for exercising the right of freedom of expression
- It is in the public interest in the area of public health
- It is for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes, or statistical purposes where it would seriously affect the achievement of the objectives of the processing
- It is necessary for the establishment, defense or exercise of legal claims.
Restricting what your information is used for
You have the right to ask us to restrict what we use your personal data for where one of the following applies:
- You have identified inaccurate information, and have notified us of this
- Where using your information is unlawful, and you wish us to restrict rather than erase the information
- Where you have objected to us using the information, and the legal reason for us using your information has not yet been provided to you
When information is restricted it cannot be used other than to securely store the data, and with your consent, to handle legal claims, protect others, or where it is for important public interests of the UK.
Where restriction of use has been granted, we will inform you before the use of your personal information is resumed.
You have the right to request that the Organisation stop using your personal information for some services. However, if this request is approved this may cause delays or prevent us delivering a service to you. Where possible we will seek to comply with your request, but we may need to hold or use information in connection with one or more of the Organisation’s legal functions.
Computer based decisions about you and if you are ‘profiled’
You have the right to object about decisions being made about you by automated means (by a computer and not a human being), unless it is required for any contract you have entered into, required by law, or you have consented to it. You also have the right to object if you are being ‘profiled’. Profiling is where decisions are made about you based on certain things in your personal information. If and when the Organisation uses your personal information to profile you, you will be informed.
If you have concerns regarding automated decision-making, or profiling, please contact the Data Protection Officer who will be able to advise you about how your information is being used.
Who will your information be shared with?
We use a range of companies and partners to either store personal information or to manage it for us. Where we have these arrangements there is always a contract, memorandum of understanding or information sharing protocol in place to ensure that the organisation complies with data protection law. We complete privacy impact assessments before we share personal information to ensure their compliance with the law.
Sometimes we have a legal duty to provide information about people to other organisations, e.g. Child Protection concerns or Court Orders.
We may also share your personal information when we feel there is a good reason that is more important than protecting your confidentiality. This does not happen often, but we may share your information:
- For the find and stop crime or fraud; or
- if there are serious risks to the public, our staff or to other professionals; or
- to protect a child.
The law does not allow us to share your information without your permission, unless there is proof that someone is at risk, or it is required by law.
This risk must be serious before we can go against your right to confidentiality. When we are worried about physical safety, or we feel that we need to take action to protect someone from being harmed in other ways, we will discuss this with you and, if possible, get your permission to tell others about your situation.
We may still share your information if we believe the risk to others is serious enough to do so.
There may also be rare occasions when the risk to others is so great that we need to share information straight away. If this is the case, we will make sure that we record what information we share and our reasons for doing so. We will let you know what we have done and why as soon as or if we think it is safe to do so.
We are required by law to share certain information with the Department for Education; for more details on how they use personal data please click here
We are also required to share some information with Essex County Council; for more details on how they use personal data please click here
How do we protect your information?
We will do what we can to make sure we hold personal records (on paper and electronically) in a secure way, and we will only make them available to those who have a right to see them. Our security includes:
- Encryption allows information to be hidden so that it cannot be read without special knowledge (such as a password). This is done with a secret code or cypher. The hidden information is said to be encrypted.
- Pseudonymisation allows us to hide parts of your personal information from view, so only we can see it. This means that someone outside of ECC 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.
- Ways for us to access your information should something go wrong and our systems not work, including how we manage your information in event of an emergency or disaster.
- Regular testing of our technology and processes including keeping up to date on the latest security updates (commonly called patches).
If your information leaves the country
Sometimes, for example where we receive a request to transfer Organisation records to a new Organisation, it is necessary to send that information outside of the UK. In such circumstances additional protection will be applied to that data during its transfer, and where the receiving country does not have an adequacy decision from the European Commission, advice will be sought from the Information Commissioners Office prior to the data being sent.
How long do we hold your information for?
For each reason why we use your personal information there is often a legal reason for why we need to keep it for a period of time. We try to capture all of these and detail them in what’s called a ‘retention schedule’. This schedule lists for each service how long your information may be kept for.
A copy of our retention schedule can be requested from our school office.
Where can I get advice?
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
Cheshire SK9 5AF