How we handle personal information
How We Use Your Information
We provide services for local communities and the people who live in them. Undertaking this work means that we must collect and use information about the people we provide services to.
Because we collect and process personal information about individuals, we are registered as a ‘Data Controller’ under the Data Protection Act 1998. This means that we must make sure you know what we intend to do with your information and who it will be shared with or disclosed to. This notice explains how we use and share your information.
Why do we collect information?
We obtain, create and manage a large amount of information relating to our services, customers and partners. Our aim is to ensure that we have the right information to allow us to provide services and continue to improve services to customers.
We will only use the information that you supply in order to provide you with the services you have requested or require. Sometimes we may not be able to provide a service if you do not provide information.
How do we collect information?
Your information may be collected or recorded on paper or online form, by telephone, email, CCTV. Information may be provided by you in writing or by a member of our staff on your behalf. There could be personal information on forms, claims, planning applications, personnel records and many other kinds of document. Sometimes we may need to ask other agencies or organisations for relevant information about you to fulfil our legal responsibilities or to provide services.
How will we use that information?
We will use the information you provide in order to:
- Deliver our services and understand your needs
- Maintain and update your customer records or contact details
- Contact you where necessary
- Obtain your opinion and feedback about the services we provide
- Ensure that we fulfil our legal obligations
How will we share your information?
Where necessary information may be shared with other organisations and partners that provide services on our behalf such as Entrust, Amey, or Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent Partnership. In such cases, the information provided is only the minimum necessary to enable them to provide services to you. These organisations are required to retain your information in a secure manner and only use it to undertake the services they provide to you. The Council is also required by law to protect the public funds it administers and may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds in order to prevent and detect fraud. More information is available from the National Fraud Initiative web site.
If the information we intend to share is of a sensitive, personal nature we will only share it with partner organisations if we have obtained your consent or unless we are legally required to share it. We have an information sharing protocol with local partners under which our partners agree to similar commitments toward privacy, security and transparency.
Personal information about you may also be provided to other local authorities. For example, if you have moved from one local authority to another and the new authority requires confirmation of the services you were receiving.
At no time will your information be passed to organisations external to Staffordshire County Council or our partners for marketing or sales purposes or for any commercial use without your prior express consent.
How do we look after your information?
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, we have a legal duty to protect any information that we collect from you. We take measures to safeguard your data and apply security standards and controls to prevent any unauthorised access to it. Information which you have provided the council will be stored securely. It will only be used for the purpose(s) stated when the information was collected.
How long do we retain information?
How long we keep the information before it is disposed of varies depending on the type of information, legal requirements and business need. In some instances the law sets the length of time information has to be kept. Our retention and disposal schedules give details about how long we keep information.
Access to information and correction
Under the data protection Act you have a right to make a request for a copy of some or all of your personal information we hold about you. Please note we may make a charge for this service.
We want to make sure that your personal information is accurate and up to date. You may ask us to correct or remove information you think is inaccurate. Please help us to make sure that we have identified you correctly by letting us know when you change address or name, and tell us if any of your information we hold is wrong.
How to contact us
Information Governance Unit
Staffordshire County Council
Third Floor - Staffordshire Place 2
Telephone: 01785 278178
How to contact the Information Commissioner's Office
Further information about Data Controller Registration (Notification) the Data Protection Principles and raising concerns about how information is handled is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
Contact details for the ICO are as follows:
The Information Commissioner
Information Commissioner's Office
Telephone: 01625 545745
Fax: 01625 524510