The growth in the use of personal data has many benefits both, for society, like helping to fight crime and for the individual, like better medical care. However, whenever personal data are collected and used, people's lives can be adversely affected if something goes wrong. For example, if details are not entered correctly people can be unjustly refused credit, benefits, housing, or even a job. If data are not kept securely, people's privacy can be affected. It is vital that those who collect and use personal data maintain the confidence of those who are asked to provide it by complying with the requirements of the Data Protection Act.
The Data Protection Act 1998 came into force on 1 March 2000. It sets rules for processing personal information and applies to some paper records as well as those held on computers.
The Data Protection Act in practice
The Data Protection Act applies to 'personal data' that is, data about identifiable living individuals. Those who decide how and why personal data are processed (data controllers), must comply with the rules of good information handling, known as the data protection principles, and the other requirements of the Data Protection Act.
Cannock Chase Council now operates shared service arrangements with Stafford Borough Council for some of its functions. In these cases personal data may be passed to authorised employees of Stafford Borough Council for the purposes of carrying out those functions only. It will not be used for any other purpose except as authorised by law.
Data protection ensures that information held about you is processed in accordance with the rights provided in the Data Protection Act 1998. This safeguards and prohibits any non-compliant or unauthorised processing.
The Act also gives you the right to:
- Know what information is being held about you.
- Know what your information is being used for and why.
- Know where the information came from and who has accessed it.
- Request access to your information.
- Take action to block, rectify, erase or destroy inaccurate data.
- Access a copy of your information
- You can request access to find out what information the Council holds about you by completing a Subject Access Request form.
Fair Processing Notice
How Cannock Chase Council uses your information
Cannock Chase Council is committed to compliance with Data Protection legislation. Keeping your personal information accurate and secure is a vital part of providing efficient services to you.
The council will only use the information it holds about you for the purpose you provided it except in the circumstances outlined in this notice. It will also only collect the minimum information necessary to fulfil that purpose.
When you provide information please be aware that the council is required to share your information, on occasion, between different sections of the council. Where required it may also be shared with other agencies to help reduce crime or investigate fraud. An example of this is in reducing Housing Benefit fraud and involves the council sharing /comparing data from other departments to ensure that claimants are not claiming illegally.
The council also works with other councils and community organisations and sometimes needs to share information with them in order to deliver your services. However, the council will not supply these organisations with your information unless it is satisfied that equal measures are in place to protect the information from unauthorised access. The council will also not supply your information to any organisation for marketing purposes without your prior consent.
The council has a responsibility to promote social wellbeing and works in partnership with other councils and agencies such as the Police, Fire and Rescue Service, the voluntary services and the Health Service in order to preserve life, reduce accidents, reduce crime and disorder and improve health.
To promote this social wellbeing the council may need to share your personal and sensitive information with other councils and partner agencies.
What is Personal Data?
Personal Data is information that relates to a living individual who can be identified either:
- from the information
- from the information combined with any other information which is already in the possession of, or likely to come into the possession of, the person or organisation holding information
The information 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. Personal data will therefore cover basic details such as name, address, date of birth and telephone numbers.
The council must always comply with the 8 Principles of Data Protection when handling your personal information.
These principles state that data must be:-
- fairly and lawfully processed
- processed for limited purposes
- adequate, relevant and not excessive
- accurate and up to date
- not kept for longer than is necessary
- processed in line with your rights
- not transferred to other countries without adequate protection
Why does the council collect and retain Personal Data?
In order to provide you with efficient and effective services Cannock Chase Council needs to collect personal data. The council may also need to share your personal data with other service providers who are contracted to carry out services on their behalf. These providers are obliged to keep your personal details secure and use them only to fulfil your service request. The council will process the information you provide in a manner that is compatible with the Data Protection Act and in particular aims to comply with the principles stated above. Cannock Chase Council will use information about you for the provision of services and specifically for the following:-
- for all law enforcement, regulation and licensing, criminal prosecutions and court proceedings which the council is obliged to undertake
- all financial transactions to and from the council including payments, grants and benefits; where monies are due or outstanding the council reserves the right to use all the available information at its disposal to protect public funds
Your information will only be held as long as necessary and will be disposed of in a secure manner when no longer needed. The periods for retention of information are specified in the council’s Retention Schedule.
Cannock Chase Council
Last Updated: 23/02/2017