Data Protection Policy

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1 Data Protection Policy September 2015 Contents 1. Scope 2. Purpose 3. Data protection roles 4. Staff training and guidance 5. About the Data Protection Act Policy 7. The Information Commissioner's Office 8. Data Protection Contacts 9. Review Process and Date 10. Glossary Version control Date Version Revision history Author June Amendments made following Internal John Wheatley Audit Consultancy Review September CMT and Cabinet Member approved John Wheatley 1

2 1. Scope 1.1. This policy applies to all employees of the Council Members Suppliers and Contractors Temporary staff Volunteers Others using the Council s information or systems The policy applies to all information which is subject to the Data Protection Act 1998, including: 2. Purpose all personal data that is processed automatically; any personal data held in a manual form in a relevant filing system; any personal data held in an accessible record. Personal Data is defined in the Act as "data relating to any living individual who can be identified from the data and includes any indication of the intentions of the data". Sensitive Personal Data is defined as "data relating to race or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or other beliefs, trade union membership; health; sex life, criminal proceedings or convictions of an individual". 2.1 This policy provides important information to staff and managers about keeping data safe and secure and other responsibilities necessary to meet the requirements of the Data Protection Act All those accessing or processing personal data in connection with Council business are individually responsible for ensuring that they comply fully with the DPA. 2.2 All staff have a responsibility at work to look after personal data properly and appropriately. Residents have a right to know that information about them is kept secure. 2.3 Breaches of the Data Protection Act (DPA) through loss or mishandling of personal data are criminal offences and can result in both large fines for the Council and personal legal liability for individual members of staff as well as disciplinary action which may lead to dismissal. The Council could be required to pay a fine of up to 500k for serious breaches of the DPA. 2.4 Hillingdon Council is committed to achieving strong levels of data protection. 2

3 The Council will: Provide adequate resources to support an effective corporate approach to Data Protection; Respect the confidentiality of all personal information irrespective of source; Compile and maintain appropriate procedures; Promote general awareness and provide specific training, advice and guidance to staff at all levels and to Members, to ensure standards are met; and Monitor and review compliance with legislation and introduce changes to policies and procedures where necessary. 2.5 It is a criminal offence to knowingly or recklessly obtain or disclose personal data. Staff should not process any personal data unless they are sure that they are authorised to do so. 2.6 Failure to comply with the Council s Data Protection Policy may lead to action under the Council's disciplinary procedure. 2.7 All Council employees and contractors will be bound by its conditions and will be responsible for compliance with the policy and the DPA. 3. Data Protection Roles 3.1. The following describes the formal data protection roles within the Council. As noted above in section 1.1, everyone has a clear role in ensuring the security of personal information held by the Council The Data Protection Officer is responsible for ensuring Council compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and Freedom of Information Act The Data Protection Officer also provides advice and guidance to residents and staff on rights under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act The Hillingdon Information Assurance Group is chaired by the Senior Information Risk Owner for the Council. HIAG is responsible for agreeing the content of information governance, data protection and freedom of information policies, and for ensuring that policies and guidance documents are regularly updated and communicated to staff. 3

4 3.4. The Corporate Management Team is responsible for signing off the final versions of information governance policies and guidance, and may direct HIAG to take any further actions to ensure strong information governance across the Council is maintained or improved In addition, the ICT Department deploys a range of technical controls designed to minimise the risks of personal data being disclosed inadvertently. 4. Staff training and guidance 4.1. Training and induction for staff includes data protection training. There are regular updates provided to all staff Where staff work in areas that deal with personal data on a regular basis, successful completion of data protection training is compulsory before staff are permitted to access any personal information Regular briefings on Data Protection are provided to managers. 5. About the Data Protection Act (1998) Data Protection Principles 5.1. The following eight Data Protection Principles are set out in the DPA and provide the framework for the Council s Data Protection Policy: 1. Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully. 2. Personal data shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes, and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes. 3. Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed. 4. Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date. 5. Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that or those purposes. 6. Personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects under the Act. 7. Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data. 4

5 8. Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area (EEA) unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection of the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data. Individuals Rights 5.2. The Act gives rights to individuals in respect of personal data held about them by others. These rights are: Right of Subject Access; Right to Prevent Processing Likely to Cause Damage or Distress; Right to Prevent Direct Marketing; Rights in Relation to Automated Decision Making; Right to take action for compensation if an individual suffers damage by any contravention of the Act by the data controller; Right to take action to rectify, block, erase or destroy inaccurate data. Criminal Offences 5.3. The Act also defines a number of criminal offences, some of which can carry very substantial financial penalties (up to 500k). The offences are: Processing without notification; Failure to notify the Information Commissioner of changes to the notification register entry; Failure to Comply with an Enforcement or Information Notice served by the Information Commissioner; Knowingly and recklessly making a false statement in compliance with an Information Notice; Unlawful obtaining, disclosing or procuring the disclosure of personal data; Unlawful selling of personal data; Enforced Subject Access Any individual employee found guilty of a criminal offence could face a fine of up to 5000 in the Magistrates court or an unlimited fine in a Crown Court. 6. Policy Handling and Collecting Information (DPA Principles 1 and 2) 6.1. The Council will process all personal data for the purpose of providing an effective delivery of service in accordance with the aims, responsibilities and obligations of the Council. 5

6 6.2. All personal data will be processed in accordance with the Council's notification with the Information Commissioner. Under the Act, Data Controllers are required to notify the Information Commissioner of the processing which they under take. The Council will maintain its Data Protection Register entry and regularly review its processing to ensure that its register entry is accurate and up to date. Heads of Service are responsible for informing the Data Protection Officer of any new purposes for which personal data are processed in order to ensure the Council's notification is kept up to date The Council will, at the point of collection and as far as it is practicable, inform individuals of all purposes for which the Council will use their personal data The Council carries out data-matching exercises to identify any anomalies or inconsistencies and also for the prevention and detection of fraud and when required by law The Council reserves the right to disclose information under certain circumstances where allowed by law The Council will consider each request for disclosure individually. Where a disclosure takes place, the Council will only disclose the minimum amount required. Records Management (DPA Principles 3, 4 and 5) 6.7. The Council will only collect personal data where there is a clear purpose for collecting and using the information The Council will not hold personal data for longer than it is reasonably required All managers and staff will take steps to ensure that the personal data they hold is accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date Opinions recorded on a file must be carefully and professionally expressed. Individuals rights (DPA Principle 6) The Council will process personal data in line with an individuals legal rights The Council will ensure that any requests for access to personal data are handled courteously, promptly and appropriately. The Council will ensure that either the data subject or his/her authorised representative has a legitimate 6

7 right to access under the Act, that the request is valid and that information provided is clear and unambiguous. Security (DPA Principle 7) All managers and staff are responsible for ensuring that personal data is held securely at all times Paper files and manual records containing personal data must be kept secure both within and outside Council premises Access to all Council systems will be password protected and only authorised personnel will have access When working off site, Council employees are responsible for ensuring that personal data is held securely Records will be safely and responsibly disposed of when they are no longer required. All reasonable steps will be taken to guarantee that any Data Processor that the Council uses (e.g. a contractor) has appropriate technical and organisational security measures in place to safeguard personal data All staff, volunteers and contractors will adhere to the Council s Information Governance Policy (http://horizon.hillingdon.gov.uk/1889). Transfer of Data (DPA Principle 8) Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area (EEA) without the permission of the Head of Policy and Standards - Education, Housing and Public Health or their nominated representative and following suitable checks that the country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection of the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data. Complaints, Enforcement and Dealing with Breaches Any complaint regarding Data Protection must be passed immediately to the Data Protection Officer Any Council employee, volunteer or contractor who suspects that a breach of the Act has or will occur, must report it to the Data Protection Officer. If an actual or suspected breach of the data protection principles has occurred, managers must follow the procedure for managing breaches in data security (see below). 7

8 6.22. All Council staff and contractors are expected to co-operate in full with any investigation under taken by the Data Protection Officer, the Monitoring Officer or the Information Commissioner into an alleged breach of the Act. Notification Under the Act, Data Controllers are required to notify the Information Commissioner of the processing which they under take. The Council will maintain its register entry and regularly review its processing to ensure that its register entry is accurate and up to date Staff are responsible for informing the Data Protection Officer of any new purposes for which personal data are processed in order to ensure the Council s notification is kept up to date. 7. The Information Commissioner's Office 7.1. The ICO's role is to uphold information rights in the public interest. The ICO can take action to change the behaviour of organisations and individuals that collect, use and keep personal information The ICO may use criminal prosecution, non-criminal enforcement and audit, depending on the circumstances. The ICO also has the power to serve a monetary penalty notice on a data controller Some of the options open to the ICO where there has been a more serious breach of the Data Protection Act include the ability to: serve enforcement notices and stop now orders where there has been a breach, requiring organisations to take (or refrain from taking) specified steps in order to ensure they comply with the law; issue monetary penalty notices, requiring organisations to pay up to 500,000 for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act occurring on or after 6 April 2010; prosecute those who commit criminal offences under the Act. 8. Data Protection contacts 8.1. Data Protection Officer, Hillingdon Council: Richard Ingle, (x6923) 3E/04 Civic Centre Uxbridge UB8 1UW 8.2. Information Commissioner's Office https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/ (Includes lists of addresses) Wycliffe House Water Lane Wilmslow 8

9 Cheshire SK9 5AF Tel: (local rate) or (national rate). The Information Commissioner's Office publishes a range of information on Data Protection. For example: A Guide to DP (https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-dataprotection/); Key definitions of the DPA (https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-todata- protection/key-definitions/); and Subject Access: Code of Practice (https://ico.org.uk/fororganisations/guide-to- data-protection/principle-6-rights/subject-accessrequest/) Hillingdon Council is registered with the ICO. Our registration number is Z The date of registration was 31 January The date of expiry is 30 January Review process and date 9.1. The Data Protection Policy was reviewed and revised in June A number of improvements were incorporated following an Internal Audit review The scheduled date for the next annual review of the Data Protection Policy is 30 September The Policy will be reviewed by the Data Protection Officer, with the assistance of other staff as required, and approved by the Corporate Management Team following discussion by the Hillingdon Information Assurance Group. 9

10 10. Glossary Glossary of DPA Terms Accessible Record Data Data Controller Data Processor Data Subject Inaccurate Data Personal Data Processing Sensitive Personal Data An Accessible record is defined within the Data Protection Act as any of the following: A health record that contains information about the physical or mental health or condition of an individual, made by or on behalf of a health professional in connection with the care of that individual; An educational record that contains information about a pupil, which is held by a local education authority or special school; A publicly available record that contains information held by a local authority for Information that is, or is intended to be, processed by computer. The definition of data within the act also extends to information that is recorded as part of a relevant filing system. Someone who determines the purposes for which and the manner in which any personal data are, or are to be, processed. This may be one person alone or jointly with other persons. As defined in the Data Protection Act in relation to personal data, a Data Processor is any person (other than an employee of the data controller) who processes the data on behalf of the data controller. The individual who is the subject of personal data, i.e. who the personal data is about. Data that is incorrect or misleading as to any matter of fact. Data that relates to a living individual who can be identified from the data. The definition of Personal Data also extends to and includes opinions about the individual and any indications of intentions of any person in respect of the individual. In relation to information or data, the Data Protection Act defines processing as obtaining, recording or holding the information or data, or carrying out any operation or set of operations on the information or data. This could include: 3 Organisation, adaptation or alteration of the information or data; 4 Retrieval, consultation or use of the information or data; 5 Disclosure of the information or data by transmission, dissemination, or otherwise making available; and 6 Alignment, combination, blocking, erasure or destruction of the information or data. Personal data consisting of information about any of the following: Racial or ethnic origin; Political opinions; Religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature; Trade union membership; Physical or mental health or condition; Sexual life; The commission or alleged commission by the data subject of any offence; and Any proceedings for any offence committed or alleged to have been committed by the data subject, the disposal of such proceedings or the sentence of any court in such proceedings. 10

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