Wing Parish Council Data Protection Policy

Introduction:

Wing Parish Council needs to collect and use certain types of information about the Data Subjects who come into contact with it in order for it to carry out its work. This personal information must be collected and dealt with appropriately, whether on paper, in a computer or recorded on other material. There are safeguards to ensure this occurs as set out in the Data Protection Act 1998
The following list of definitions below of the technical terms used in this document is intended to aid understanding of this policy.

Data Controller:

The person, who either alone or with others, decides what personal information Wing Parish Council will hold and how it will be held or used.

Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act):

The UK legislation that provides a framework for responsible behaviour by those using personal information.

Data Protection Officer:

The person(s) responsible for ensuring that Wing Parish Council follows its data protection policy and complies with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Data Subject/Service User:

The individual whose personal information is being held or processed by Wing Parish Council.

What is meant by “consent”?

One of the conditions for processing is that the individual has consented to their personal data being collected and used in the manner and for the purposes in question.

You will need to examine the circumstances of each case to decide whether consent has been given. In some cases this will be obvious, but in others the particular circumstances will need to be examined closely to decide whether they amount to an adequate consent.

Consent is not defined in the Data Protection Act. However, the European Data Protection Directive (to which the Act gives effect) defines an individual’s consent as:

…any freely given specific and informed indication of his wishes by which the data subject signifies his agreement to personal data relating to him being processed.

The fact that an individual must “signify” their agreement means that there must be some active communication between the parties. An individual may “signify” agreement other than in writing, but organisations should not infer consent if an individual does not respond to a communication – for example, from a customer’s failure to return a form or respond to a leaflet.

Consent must also be appropriate to the age and capacity of the individual and to the particular circumstances of the case. For example, if your organisation intends to continue to hold or use personal data after the relationship with the individual ends, then the consent should cover this. Even when consent has been given, it will not necessarily last forever. Although in most cases consent will last for as long as the processing to which it relates continues, you should recognise that the individual may be able to withdraw consent, depending on the nature of the consent given and the circumstances in which you are collecting or using the information. Withdrawing consent does not affect the validity of anything already done on the understanding that consent had been given.

You should review whether a consent you have been given remains adequate as your organisation’s relationship with an individual develops, or as the individual’s circumstances change.

Consent obtained under duress or on the basis of misleading information does not adequately satisfy the condition for processing.

The Data Protection Act distinguishes between:

  • the nature of the consent required to satisfy the first condition for processing; and
  • the nature of the consent required to satisfy the condition for processing sensitive personal data, which must be “explicit”.

Is a freely given, specific and informed agreement by a Data Subject (see definition) to the processing of personal information about him/her.

Explicit consent is needed for processing sensitive data – see definition below.

Notification:

Notifying the Information Commissioner about the data processing activities of Wing Parish Council as certain activities may be exempt from notification.

Information Commissioner:

The UK Information Commissioner responsible for implementing and overseeing the Data Protection Act 1998.

Processing:

Means collecting, amending, handling, storing or disclosing personal information.
Personal Information:

Information about living individuals that enables them to be identified; eg name and address. It does not apply to information about organisations, companies and agencies but applies to named persons, such as individual volunteers within Wing Parish Council.

Sensitive Data means data about:

  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Political opinions
  • Religious or similar beliefs
  • Trade union membership
  • Physical or mental health
  • Sexual life
  • Criminal record
  • Criminal proceedings relating to a Data Subject’s offences

Data Controller:

Wing Parish Council is the Data Controller under the Act, which means that it determines what purposes personal information held will be used for. It is also responsible for notifying the Information Commissioner of the data it holds or is likely to hold and the general purposes that this data will be used for.

Disclosure:

Wing Parish Council may share data with other agencies such as the local authority, funding bodies and other voluntary agencies.
The Data Subject will be made aware in most circumstances how and with whom their information will be shared. There are circumstances where the law allows Wing Parish Council to disclose data (including sensitive data) without the Data Subject’s consent.
These are:

  • Carrying out a legal duty or as authorised by the Secretary of State
  • Protecting vital interests of a Data Subject or other person
  • The Data Subject has already made the information public
  • Conducting any legal proceedings, obtaining legal advice or defending any legal rights
  • Monitoring for equal opportunities purposes, eg, race, disability or religion
  • Providing a confidential service where the Data Subject’s consent cannot be obtained or where it is reasonable to proceed without consent, eg, where we would wish to avoid forcing stressed or ill Data Subjects to provide consent signatures.

Wing Parish Council regards the lawful and correct treatment of personal information as very important to successful working, and to maintaining the confidence of those with whom the Parish Council deals.
Wing Parish Council intends to ensure that personal information is treated lawfully and correctly

To this end, Wing Parish Council will adhere to the Principles of Data Protection as detailed in the Data Protection Act 1998.

Specifically, the Principles require that personal information:

  • Shall be processed fairly and lawfully and, in particular, shall not be processed unless specific conditions are met
  • Shall be obtained only for one or more of the purposes specified in the Act and shall not be processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes
  • Shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to those purposes
  • Shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date
  • Shall not be kept longer than is necessary
  • Shall be processed in accordance with the rights of Data Subjects under the Act
  • Shall be kept secure by the Data Controller who takes appropriate technical and other measures to prevent unauthorised or unlawful processing or accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal information
  • Shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of Data Subjects in relation to the processing of personal information

Wing Parish Council will, through appropriate management, ensure strict application of its criteria and controls by:

  • Observing fully conditions regarding the fair collection and use of information
  • Meeting its legal obligations to specify the purposes for which information is used
  • Collecting and processing appropriate information and only to the extent that it is needed to fulfil its operational needs or to comply with any legal requirements
  • Ensuring the quality of information used
  • Ensuring that the rights of people about whom information is held can be fully exercised under the Act. These include;(a)    The right to be informed that processing is being undertaken(b)    The right of access to one’s personal information(c)    The right to prevent processing in certain circumstances and

    (d)    The right to correct, rectify, block or erase information which is regarded as wrong information

  • Taking appropriate technical and organisational security measures to safeguard personal information
  • Ensuring that personal information is not transferred abroad without suitable safeguards
  • Treating people justly and fairly whatever their age, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity when dealing with requests for information
  • Setting out clear procedures for responding to requests for information

Data Collection:
Informed consent

Informed consent is when:

  • A Data Subject clearly understands why their information is needed, who it will be shared with, the possible consequences of them agreeing or refusing the proposed use of the data
  • They give their consent

Wing Parish Council will ensure that data is collected within the boundaries defined in this policy. This applies to data that is collected in person or by completing a form

When collecting data Wing Parish Council will ensure that the Data Subject:

  • Clearly understands why the information is needed
  • Understands what it will be used for and what the consequences are should the Data Subject decide not to give consent to processing
  • As far as is reasonably possible, grants explicit consent, either written or verbal, for data to be processed
  • Is, as far as is reasonably practicable, competent enough to give consent and has given so freely without any duress, and
  • Has received sufficient information on why their data is needed and how it will be used

Data Storage:

Information and records relating to service users will be stored securely and will only be accessible to authorised personnel and volunteers.

Information will be stored for only as long as it is needed or required by statute and will be disposed of appropriately

It is Wing Parish Council’s responsibility to ensure all personal and company data is non-recoverable from any computer system previously used within the organisation and which has been passed on or sold to a third party.

Data Access and Accuracy:

All Data Subjects have the right to access the information Wing Parish Council holds about them. Wing Parish Council will also take reasonable steps to ensure that this information is kept up to date by asking Data Subjects whether there have been any changes.

In addition, Wing Parish Council will ensure that:

  • It has a Data Protection Officer with specific responsibility for ensuring compliance with Data Protection
  • Everyone processing personal information understands that they are contractually responsible for following good data protection practice
  • Everyone processing personal information is appropriately trained to do so
  • Everyone processing personal information is appropriately supervised
  • Anybody wanting to make enquiries about handling personal information knows what to do
  • It deals promptly and courteously with any enquiries about handling personal information
  • It describes clearly how it handles personal information
  • It will regularly review and audit the ways it holds, manages and uses personal information
  • It regularly assesses and evaluates its methods and performance in relation to handling personal information, and
  • All personnel are aware that a breach of the rules and procedures identified in this policy may lead to action being taken against them

This policy will be updated as necessary to reflect best practice in data management, security and control and to ensure compliance with any changes or amendments made to the Data Protection Act 1998
In case of any queries or questions in relation to this policy please contact the Clerk to Wing Parish Council who also acts in the role of Data Protection Officer for Wing Parish Council.


Signed:

Position:  Clerk for the Parish Council   Date: 7th September 2016

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