The Data Protection Act gives individuals a legal right to find out what information is held about them, on paper and electronic media.
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council holds and processes a considerable amount of information, including personal information, about the residents of this borough. We do this in order to provide our services in the most efficient and effective way that we can. We recognise that we have a duty to treat all the information we hold responsibly and to keep it safe and secure, and process it correctly.
General Data Protection Regulation & Data Protection Act 2018
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council collects and processes personal data in performing its statutory and discretionary functions. The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) set out legal obligations the Council must adhere to when processing personal data and also provides you with certain rights which we must respect. More information on this can be found in our Privacy Notice.
The six key principles of the GDPR & DPA are:
- Personal information must be processed fairly, lawfully and in a transparent manner
- Personal information will be collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes
- Personal information must be adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary
- Personal information must be accurate and where necessary kept up to date
- Personal information must be kept for no longer than is necessary
- Personal information must be processed in a manner which ensures appropriate security of personal data.
Our GDPR Commitment
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council will ensure that all our data is:
- Processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner.
- Collected for a specific and legitimate purpose. Your data will only be used for the stated purpose.
- Relevant and limited to whatever the requirements are for which they are processed.
- Accurate, and where necessary, kept up to date. Any inaccuracies will be amended or removed without undue delay.
- Stored for as long as required, and in accordance with our records retention policy.
- Secured with appropriate solutions, which protect the data against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage.
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council is committed to protecting your privacy when you use our services. The Privacy notice explains how we use information about you and how we protect your privacy.
Processing Personal Data Lawfully
The council will ensure that it meets the conditions necessary for processing personal data lawfully and will ensure this is adequately recorded. There are a number of ways that processing can be lawful. Consent is one method, but it is important to know that consent is not always required and the council can lawfully process personal data as long as a condition is met.
Subject Access Requests
A subject access request (SAR) is a written request made by, or on behalf of an individual, for a copy of the information which the Council holds about them, and which under data protection legislation you are entitled to ask for. This is different to a Freedom of Information request which is about the information the Council owns, but not about an individual's data.
If you need to see the personal information we hold about you, a request can be made via letter or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please tell us exactly what information you wish to see. e.g. council tax, Planning application, Housing, etc. We have one calendar month in which to respond, commencing from the date we receive your request. and you could be asked to provide proof of identity to help us prevent fraudulent requests and to speed up the information gathering process.
If we are relying on consent to process your data, you can request to withdraw consent or restrict/object to some elements of the processing. The council does not rely on consent on most cases because it has legal duties to do certain tasks. For example, processing planning applications and collecting council tax payments.
Where we rely on your consent as your legal basis to process your personal data, you have the right to withdraw your consent and ask for your data to be deleted. As explained above we will not rely on consent in many cases.
Data Protection Officer
The Council has a Data Protection Officer. Contact the Data Protection Officer
Guidance on the rights of individuals under the Data Protection Act is available from the Information Commissioner's Office.
A copy of the full legislation can be viewed on the legislation.gov.uk website.