2. Scope 2.1 This policy covers all the activities and processes of the University that uses personal information in whatever format.

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1 University of Westminster Personal Data Protection Policy For Compliance with the Data Protection Act Background 1.1 The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) defines personal data as data and information that identifies or can be used to identify a living individual. 1.2 The University of Westminster holds and uses personal data across a range of physical sites, functional departments, teaching faculties, information systems and in a variety of formats. 1.3 Personal information is vital to the operations and interests of the University and should be managed in all its forms with care and in compliance with the requirements of the DPA. 1.4 This policy should be read in conjunction with specific published procedures and guidelines, available to the public, students and staff, as required. 2. Scope 2.1 This policy covers all the activities and processes of the University that uses personal information in whatever format. 2.2 This policy relates to all University staff, students and others acting for or on behalf of the University or who are given access to University personal information. 3. Registration 3.1 In compliance with the DPA the University will register with the Information Commissioner the personal information it holds and the purposes for which the personal information is processed. 3.2 The University will keep its registration details up-to-date and inform the Information Commissioner of any changes to its processing of personal information. 4. Data Protection Principles 4.1 The University of Westminster will manage the processing of personal information in compliance with the key eight data protection principles set out in the DPA. These can be briefly summarised as: Page 1

2 Principle 1 personal information will be processed fairly and lawfully. Processing is any form of use of personal data. Fairly means with the consent of the data subject or in accordance with the conditions defined by the DPA, and as far as possible in a way that individuals are aware of how their personal information will be used. Lawfully means in compliance with the DPA and any other statutory requirements. Principle 2 personal information will be collected for clear and specific purposes and will not be further used in any way that would be incompatible with those original purposes. Principle 3 the personal information gathered and used for the stated purposes will be limited to what is adequate and relevant to those purposes and must not be excessive or unnecessary. Principle 4 personal information held should be accurate and where in use a reasonable effort must be made to keep it up-to-date. Principle 5 personal information should not be retained for longer than is necessary to support valid and reasonable University purposes. Where the University retains personal information for a long time, the reasons for its lengthy retention should be known and agreed. Principle 6 personal information will only be used in accordance with the rights of data subjects under the DPA, which include the right of access to their own information and that their expectations of privacy will be respected. Principle 7 the University will take appropriate technical and organisational measures to protect and secure personal information from unauthorised access and against accidental loss, damage or destruction. The Act specifies sensitive personal data, and for this personal information additional measures should be taken. (See Appendix 1 for personal data defined as sensitive personal data under the Act.) Principle 8 - the University will only transfer personal data outside the European Economic Area where it has ensured that an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of their personal data has been put in place, or it has met conditions necessary for the transfer of the information as required by law. 5. The Principles in Practice The University of Westminster will comply with the DPA principles above and specifically the University will undertake the following approaches: Page 2

3 5.1 Personal information collection and use When personal information is collected, individuals will be told clearly what the information will be used for and who will have access to it, and if it is to be shared, who with and for what purpose Collection and use of personal information will be kept to a minimum to meet required purposes. Where it is possible to use anonymous information collection to fulfil required purposes, in research or general service feedback for example, these approaches should be encouraged Where personal information is being collected with the intention of using it for direct marketing purposes, individuals will be given the opportunity at the point of collection to refuse consent to direct marketing, in compliance with Electronic Communications Regulations The University will apply approaches to personal information capture, use and maintenance that helps ensure personal information quality and reduces risks of inaccuracy and unnecessary duplication The Archives Services Team will create and maintain a Records Management Policy and related Records Retention Schedules to guide required personal information retention and timely destruction. For further details, please see the University s Records Management Policy and Records Retention Schedules. 5.3 Access to Personal Information The rights of information subjects, detailed in the DPA, will be respected and supported. The right of subject access (which is the right of individuals to access and have copies of information the University holds on them) will be facilitated by a formal and published Subject Access Request Procedure, qualified where appropriate by specific exemptions in the DPA. 5.4 Business Change The University will consider personal data protection in the context of required business changes and any associated IT changes and initiatives. Compliance to the DPA will be considered fully in relation to business and IT options and changes and will be supported by appropriate project management frameworks and activities. 5.5 The Protection and Security of Personal Information The University will create and maintain an Information Security Policy and an associated framework of technical measures and support, guidance and training to Page 3

4 ensure appropriate levels of security are in place to adequately protect personal information it controls or processes Security breaches will be monitored and subject to appropriate actions and reporting Security policies and processes will encompass access to user accounts and the interception of communications for legitimate University purposes (for example to intercept containing potentially damaging attachments or viruses) or where required to do so by law. For further details, please see the University s Information Security Policy. 5.6 Awareness and Training The University will provide accessible guidance, support and training on the management of personal information and relevant legislation to all staff, students and those acting for or on behalf of the University. 6. Reviews and Continuous Improvement 6.1 Processes for managing personal information, including those that relate to corporate applications such as the Student Records System and HR system, will be periodically reviewed and any recommendations implemented as part of a continuous process of improvement. 6.2 The management of personal information in research will be subject to review, and where appropriate approval of a University research ethics committee or external approval by an equivalent body given. 6.3 Compliance to Data Protection Act formal Subject Access Requests will be monitored on a monthly basis and appropriate metrics recorded and reported to the Head of Information Security and Compliance. 6.4 And further reported to the and the Information Management Committee. 6.5 The University will supply metrics, information and views to external bodies, for example JISC or Committees of Parliament, to support the understanding and impact that personal data protection compliance has on the HEI and wider information management sectors, when requested, and if necessary resources are available. 7. Personal Information Management Policy Roles and Responsibilities 7.1 The University Personal Data Protection Policy is agreed by the University Information Governance Group and formally approved by the University Information Page 4

5 Management Committee. 7.2 The Archive Services Team, reporting to the IS Associate Director Libraries and Archives, is responsible for maintaining University Records Management Policy, Records Retention Schedules and all associated policies and training. 7.3 The Information Security Team, reporting to the Head Of Information Security and Compliance, are responsible for the University Information Security Policy. 7.4 The Information Compliance Team, reporting to the Head of Information Security and Compliance, are responsible for: Maintaining this policy Managing and reporting on formal subject access requests Providing guidance, support and training on the management of personal information and relevant legislation Liaison with the Information Commissioner s Office on data protection matters Supplying metrics, information and views to external bodies in relation to personal data protection as thought appropriate. 8. Wider Personal Information Management Roles and Responsibilities 8.1 Heads of Corporate Services, Teaching Faculties and other Heads of Business Units are responsible for ensuring awareness and compliance with this policy in their areas. 8.2 All staff, students, contractors and agents who handle personal information for or on behalf of the University are responsible for its safety, security and compliance to the provisions of the Data Protection Act Any security breach or data damage or loss that affects personal information should be reported to the Information Security Team or the Information Compliance Team. 8.4 Mishandling of personal information in any instance could lead to a disciplinary investigation and additionally could be a breach of the law. Staff are advised to seek assistance and guidance from the Information Security Team or the Information Compliance Team if they have specific concerns in this area. 8.5 A Data Protection Act Subject Access Request is a right granted in law and all Page 5

6 staff involved in such a request should ensure requested information is made available to the Information Compliance Team in a timely and accurate manner. It should be noted that it is an offence to conceal, alter or destroy personal information to prevent it from being released, that has been the subject of such a request. Appendix 1 - Sensitive Personal Data - From the Data Protection Act 1998 Part 1 S2 In this Act sensitive personal data means personal data consisting of information as to (a) the racial or ethnic origin of the data subject, (b) his political opinions, (c) his religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature, (d) whether he is a member of a trade union (within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992), (e) his physical or mental health or condition, (f) his sexual life, (g) the commission or alleged commission by him of any offence, or (h) any proceedings for any offence committed or alleged to have been committed by him, the disposal of such proceedings or the sentence of any court in such proceedings. Authorised by: Date: Version Record Version Date Author Description /03/2014 M. Bacon - Information Compliance Manager UIGG Approved Version 1.0 Page 6

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