DATA PROTECTION POLICY, PERSONAL DATA AND GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATIONS POLICY

5T Consulting Ltd is a Limited Company registered with Companies House 

 

Introduction

We are committed to a policy of protecting the rights and privacy of individuals. We need to collect and use certain types of data in order to carry on our work. This personal information must be collected and dealt with appropriately.

 

The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) governs the use of information about people (personal data).

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 25th May 2018 expands the requirements of the DPA.

 

Personal data can be held on computers, laptops and mobile devices, or in a manual file, and includes email, notes and psychometric assessments, as well as referral letters or reports.

 

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set out 5T Consulting Ltd’s commitment and procedures for protecting personal data. We regard the lawful and correct treatment of personal information as very important to successful working, and to maintaining the confidence of those with whom we deal. 

 

The Data Protection Act   

This contains 8 principles for processing personal data with which we must comply.

Personal data:

1.         Shall be processed fairly and lawfully and, in particular, shall not be processed unless specific conditions are met.

2.         Shall be obtained only for one or more of the purposes specified in the Act, and shall not be processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes.

3.         Shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to those purposes.

4.         Shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept, up to date.

5.         Shall not be kept longer than is necessary.

6.         Shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects under the Act. 

7.         Shall be kept secure by the Data Controller who takes appropriate technical and other measures to prevent unauthorised or unlawful processing or accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal information.

8.         Shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal information.

 

The following list contains definitions of the technical terms we have used and is intended to aid understanding of this policy.

  • Data Controller – The person (or persons) who decide(s) what personal information 5T Consulting Ltd will hold and how it will be held or used.

  • Data Protection Act 1998– The UK legislation that provides a framework for responsible behaviour by those using personal information.

  • Data Protection Officer – The person (or persons) nominated by 5T Consulting Ltd who is responsible for ensuring that it follows its data protection policy and complies with the Data Protection Act 1998 and GDPR.   

  • Data Subject / Service User – The individual whose personal information is being held or processed by, 5T Consulting.

  •  ‘Explicit consent’ - is a freely given, specific and informed agreement by a Data Subject to the processing of personal information about him/her.

 

Explicit consent is needed for processing sensitive data. This includes the following:

a)         racial or ethnic origin of the data subject

b)         political opinions

c)         religious beliefs

d)         trade union membership

e)         physical or mental health conditions

f)          sexual orientation

g)         criminal record

h)         proceedings for any offence committed or alleged to have been committed

 

  • Notification – Notifying the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) about the data processing activities of 5T Consulting Ltd.  

  • Information Commissioner – The UK Information Commissioner responsible for implementing and overseeing the Data Protection Act 1998 and GDPR.

  • Processing – means collecting, amending, handling, storing or disclosing personal information.

  • Personal information – Information about living individuals that enables them to be identified – e.g. names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses. It does not apply to information about organisations, companies and agencies but applies to named persons, such as individual volunteers of 5T Consulting Ltd.

  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will apply in the UK from 25 May 2018. The UK Government has confirmed that Brexit will not affect the implementation of the GDPR.    

  • In the GDPR, personal data has been redefined and it now covers a much wider scope, including such areas as Internet Provider (IP) addresses, CCTV, and bio-metrics. The GDPR also covers a ‘special’ category of personal data, referred to as sensitive data (see previous page for definition) and may only be processed within a limited number of circumstances.

  • There are some very important new requirements. For example, Informed consent, that the information on which the consent was given is informative, unambiguous, and is freely given. In addition, consent can be withdrawn. Data from children (under 16) requires authorisation from a parent or guardian, we shall use all reasonable efforts to obtain this.  

 

 

Applying the Data Protection Act

 

Whilst access to and collection of, personal data is limited to 5T Consulting Ltd, all who are involved in the collection of personal details from members of the public must ensure people know why we are collecting their data and it is our responsibility to ensure the data is only used for this purpose. 

 

Individuals have a right to have data corrected if it is wrong, to prevent use which is causing them damage or distress, or to stop marketing information being sent to them.

 

5T Consulting Ltd is the Data Controller under the Act and is legally responsible for complying with the Act, which means that 5T Consulting Ltd determines for what purposes personal information held will be used.

 

5T Consulting Ltd will take into account legal requirements and ensure that it is properly implemented, and will through appropriate management, strict application of criteria and controls:

 

a)         Observe fully conditions regarding the fair collection and use of information.

b)         Meet its legal obligations to specify the purposes for which information is used.

c)         Collect and process appropriate information, and only to the extent that it is needed to fulfil its operational needs or to comply with any legal requirements.

d)         Ensure the quality of information used.

e)         Ensure the rights of people about whom information is held can be fully exercised under the Act.  These include:

i)          The right to be informed that processing is being undertaken

ii)         The right of access to one’s personal information

iii)        The right to prevent processing in certain circumstances, and

iv)         The right to correct, rectify, block or erase information which is regarded as wrong information.

f)          Take appropriate technical and organisational security measures to safeguard personal information.

g)         Ensure that personal information is not transferred abroad without suitable safeguards.

h)         Treat people justly and fairly whatever their age, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity when dealing with requests for information.

i)          Set out clear procedures for responding for requests for information.

The Data Protection Officer for 5T Consulting is:

Name: Gaylin Tudhope or Jo Wheater

Contact details: Info@5tconsulting.net

 

The Data Protection Officer will be responsible for ensuring that the policy is implemented and will have overall responsibility for:

 

a)         Ensuring everyone processing personal information understands that they are legally responsible for following good data protection practice.

b)         Everyone processing personal information is appropriately trained to do so

c)         Everyone processing personal information is appropriately supervised

d)         Anybody wanting to make enquiries about handling personal information knows what to do

e)         Dealing promptly and courteously with any enquiries about handling personal information

f)          Describe clearly how the charity handles personal information

g)         Will regularly review and audit the way it holds, manages and uses personal information

h)         Will regularly assess and evaluate its methods and performance in relation to handling personal information

 

This policy will be updated as necessary to reflect best practice in data management, security and control and to ensure compliance with any changes or amendments made to the Data Protection Act 1998 and GDPR.

 

In case of any queries or questions in relation to this policy please contact the Data Protection Officer

 

Informed consent is when a Data Subject clearly understands why their information is needed, who it will be shared with, the possible consequences of them agreeing or refusing the proposed use of the data, and then gives their consent.

 

5T Consulting Ltd will ensure that data is collected within the boundaries defined in this policy. This applies to data that is collected in person, or by completing a form.

 

When collecting data, we will ensure the Data Subject:

 

a)         Clearly understands why the information is needed

b)         Understands what it will be used for and what the consequences are should the Data Subject decide not to give consent to processing

c)         As far as reasonably possible, grants explicit consent, either written or verbal, for data to be processed

d)         Is, as far as reasonably practicable, competent enough to give consent and has given so freely without any duress

e)         Has received sufficient information on why their data is needed and how it will be used 

 

Procedures for handling data

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 and GDPR, companies and charities have a duty to ensure that appropriate technical and organisational measures and training are taken to prevent:

 

•          unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data

•          unauthorised disclosure of personal data

•          accidental loss of personal data

 

All 5T Consulting Ltd employees must therefore ensure that personal data is dealt with properly no matter how it is collected, recorded or used. This applies whether or not the information is held on paper or in a computer or recorded by some other means.

 

Personal data relates to data of living individuals who can be identified from that data and use of that data could cause an individual damage or distress. This does not mean that mentioning someone’s name in a document comprises personal data; however, combining various data elements such as a person’s name and salary or religious beliefs etc. would be classed as personal data, and falls within the scope of the data protection act.

 

It is therefore important that all 5T Consulting Ltd employees consider any information (which is not otherwise in the public domain) that can be used to identify an individual, as personal data and observe the guidance given below.

 

Handling professional opinions about individuals - The Data Protection Act and GDPR covers any expression about individuals. Opinions may be recorded informally in reports, letters, memos, databases, and so on, in a way that is covered by the Act.  5T Consulting Ltd sometimes records opinions about individuals on its database.  The Act does not lay down specific rules about what organisations or practitioners should or should not record. There is, however, good practice.

 

Good practice adopted by 5T Consulting when an opinion is recorded is:

 

  • Record information in compliance with the 8 principles of the Act.

  • Be mindful that it has a duty of care to the person who is the subject of the opinion and use professional judgment when deciding what information should be recorded.

  • Make it clear that it is an opinion. The record should show who gave the opinion and when

  • Structure the record so that if someone objects to its accuracy, their view or challenge can be included in such a way that it is given proper weight.

  • Make sure that when an opinion is disclosed it is not presented as fact. 

 

Emails – all 5T Consulting Ltd employees should consider whether an email (both incoming and outgoing) will need to be kept as an official record. If the email needs to be retained it should be saved into the appropriate folder or, printed and stored securely. The original email should then be deleted from the personal mailbox and any ‘deleted items’ box, either immediately or when it has ceased to be of use.

 

Remember, emails that contain personal information which is no longer required for operational use, should be deleted from the personal mailbox and any ‘deleted items’ box. 

 

Phone calls – Phone calls can lead to unauthorised use or disclosure of Personal information and the following precautions should be taken:

 

•          If you receive a phone call asking for personal information to be checked or confirmed, be aware that the phone call may come from someone pretending to be the data subject, or impersonating someone with a right of access.

•          Personal information should not be given out over the telephone unless you have no doubts as to the caller’s identity and the information requested is innocuous. If you have any doubts, ask the caller to put their enquiry in writing. 

•          Good practice is to ask for the caller’s contact details and offer to give them to the subject for the subject to make contact with the caller if they so wish.

 

Laptops and portable devices – All laptops and portable devices that hold data containing personal information must be protected with a suitable encryption program.

 

Ensure your laptop is locked (password protected) when left unattended, even for a short period of time.

 

When traveling in a car, make sure the laptop is out of sight, preferably in the boot. If you have to leave your laptop in an unattended vehicle at any time, put it in the boot and ensure all doors are locked and any alarm set.  Never leave laptops or portable devices in your vehicle overnight.

 

Do not leave laptops or portable devices unattended in restaurants or bars, or any other venue.

 

When travelling on public transport, keep it with you at all times, do not leave it in luggage racks or even on the floor alongside you.

 

Store as little personal data as possible on your computer or laptop, only keep files that are essential. Personal data received on disk or memory stick should be saved to the relevant file on the server or laptop. The disk or memory stick should them be securely returned (if applicable) or processed for safe storage or disposal. Always lock (password protect your computer or laptop when left unattended; this is especially important when using your laptop away from the office or home.

Do not use passwords that are easy to guess. Ideally passwords should be eight characters or more and contain upper and lower case letters and some numbers.

 

Passwords should be protected

 

•          Common sense rules for passwords are: do not give out your password, ever.

•          Do not write your password somewhere on your laptop

•          do not keep it written on something stored in the laptop case

 

Data storage – Information and records relating to service users will be stored securely and will only be accessible to authorised persons.

 

Information will be stored for only as long as it is needed or required by statute and will be disposed of appropriately.

 

It is our responsibility to ensure all personal and company data is non-recoverable from any computer system previously used within the organisation, which has been passed on/sold to a third party.

 

Risk Management – The consequences of breaching the data protection regulations of all those whose information 5T Consulting Ltd holds:

 

•          can cause harm or distress 

•          their information is released to inappropriate people

•          they could be denied a service to which they are entitled

 

5T Consulting Ltd employees should be aware that they can be personally liable if they use any personal data inappropriately. 

 

This policy is designed to minimise the risks and to ensure that the reputation of 5T Consulting Ltd is not damaged through inappropriate or unauthorised access and sharing.

 

Destroying personal data – Personal data should only be kept for as long as it is needed. 5T Consulting Ltd will review all data annually and will ensure that data that is no longer needed is confidentially destroyed at the end of the relevant retention period.

 

Data Subject Access Request (SAR) – Members of the public may request certain information from public bodies under them Freedom of Information Act 2000. The Act does not apply to charities, but Charities are still required to respond to requests for information under the Data Protection laws.

Requests for information should be made to the Data Protection Officer (Trustees) in the first instance. The requester may then be referred to a Self-employed Contractor or other individual as appropriate.  See previous comments about phone calls from possible impersonators.

 

A response to the Data Subject must be made within the time period specified in the Act. This is currently 40 days but changing to a month under the GDPR from May 25th 2018.

 

A charge of £10 per request may currently be made but must be free under the GDPR from May 25th 2018.

 

Disclosure – 5T Consulting ltd may need to share data with other agencies such as local authorities, funding bodies and other voluntary agencies.

 

The Data Subject will be made aware in most circumstances how and with whom their information is shared. There are circumstances where the law allows the Charity to disclose data (including sensitive data) without the data subject’s consent. These are:

a)         Carrying out a legal duty or as authorised by the Secretary of State, protecting vital interests of a Data Subject or other person.

b)         The Data Subject has already made the information public.

c)         Conducting any legal proceedings, obtaining legal advice or defending any legal rights 

d)         Monitoring for equal opportunities purposes – i.e. race, disability or religion

e)         Providing a confidential service where the Data Subject’s consent cannot be obtained or where it is reasonable to proceed without consent: e.g. where we would wish to avoid forcing stressed or ill Data Subjects to provide consent signatures. 

 

Further information – If members of the public or stakeholders have specific questions about information security and data protection in relation to 5T Consulting please contact the Data Protection Officer.