We need to hold personal information about you in order to provide services to you. We hold personal data about you for things like Council Tax and Electoral Registration, because the law requires us to.
Richmondshire District Council is a data controller. As such we are required to provide the Information Commissioner with a general description of the processing of personal data done by the council. The Information Commissioner maintains a public register of data controllers. The Council will ensure that the Information Commissioner is informed of all its notifiable uses of personal information and will conduct periodic reviews and update those entries. Our registration number is Z6827623 and you can view a copy of our register entry at https://ico.org.uk or by appointment at our Community Offices.
It is the aim of the Council that all appropriate staff and Members are properly trained, fully informed of their obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998 and aware of their personal liabilities.
This remainder of this document looks at the Council's approach to Data Protection and will guide you through the legislation in more detail.
As a data controller we are required to comply with the eight Data Protection Principles.
The Data Protection Principles are legally enforceable rules of good practice that organisations and individuals must apply when they process your personal data. The Act says that all personal data must:
- be processed fairly and lawfully
- only be obtained and processed for specified and lawful purposes
- be adequate, relevant for the purpose and not excessive
- be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date
- not be kept longer than necessary
- be processed in accordance with the data subject's rights
- be kept secure
- not be transferred to other countries without adequate protection for the rights and freedoms of the data subject.
Personal data is any data which, on its own or referenced against other data held by other organisations, can be used to identify a living individual.
This includes all the obvious details the council might hold about you like your name, address, Council Tax reference number, etc. It might also include expressions of opinion about you and the council's intentions towards you.
The Act recognises that some personal data is more sensitive than other – this 'sensitive personal data' is subject to special rules and refers to information about your ethnic origin, religious beliefs, trade union membership, party political opinions, sexuality, health, involvement in court proceedings etc.
By 'processing' your personal data we mean, collecting, storing, accessing, changing and even destroying any personal information about you.
The amount of personal data we have about you and how we process it depends on which council services you use.
Sometimes we collect personal data for one council service and need to use it to give you another service. We will always try to tell you if we share your personal data between different council services.
We often take photographs of people attending public events to use in publications like 'The Curlew' or on our website. Occasionally we take photographs of people using our services, for promotional leaflets or other publicity purposes. If you can be identified from this type of photograph we will explain why we want it and ask for your consent beforehand.
We may use the information you give us when you use council services for research or statistical purposes and to help us plan for the future, but we will not include any personal data in our reports and plans.
Council members and employees can access and process your personal data for their official council duties - but only the data needed for a specific purpose. They must not disclose your personal data to anyone else without your knowledge, unless they are legally obliged to do so.
If you make a complaint about council services or sign a petition that is presented to the Council your personal data may be shared with your local Ward Councillors and council employees working in the service concerned.
You can write and ask us to stop processing your personal data at any time. You must explain what processing you want us to stop and why. We must reply to you within 14 days and let you know what we have done about your request.
- make sure you know why we need it
- protect it and make sure nobody has access to it who shouldn't
- ensure you know if you have a choice about giving us information
- let you know if we need to share it with other organisations to give you better public services – and tell you if you can say no
- make sure we don't keep it longer than necessary
Data controllers like the council must respond within 40 days confirming:
- a description of the personal data
- why the data is held
- who else the data might have been given to
- a copy of the data
- an explanation of any technical terms or abbreviations
- any information about the original source of the data
We can withhold some data if it refers to other people who have not consented to disclosure, if disclosure might cause serious harm to you or anyone else or might prejudice crime prevention or court proceedings. Even if we cannot provide you with copies of the data, we will confirm what type of data we hold and why we hold it.
Obtaining personal data from council sources for an unauthorised purpose or unauthorised disclosure to a third party are offences under the Act.
The best way to be sure is to let us know about any changes in your circumstances that might affect the services we provide to you.
Further information on your rights under the Data Protection Act 1998 are provided on our information leaflet 'The Data Protection Act 1998, Personal Information (your right to know)'. The leaflet is available at all of the Council's Community Offices, or can be downloaded: