Stepping Stones DS – Data Protection Policy

Introduction

Stepping Stones DS (SSDS) is committed to a policy of protecting the rights and privacy of individuals.  It needs to collect and use certain types of data in order to carry on its work. This personal information must be collected and dealt with appropriately.

The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), and from 25th May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), governs the use of information about people (personal data). Personal data can be held on computer or in a manual file, and includes email, minutes of meetings, and photographs. SSDS will remain the data controller for the information held. SSDS members and volunteers will be personally responsible for processing and using personal information in accordance with the DPA and GDPR.

Trustees/volunteers running the organisation who have access to personal information, will be expected to read and comply with this policy.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set out SSDS’s commitment and procedures for protecting personal data. SSDS regards 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 with.

Principles of data protection under GDPR

Lawfulness, fairness & transparency
Personal data shall be processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject.

Purpose limitation
Personal data shall be collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes.

Data minimisation
Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed.

Accuracy
Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date.

Storage limitation
Personal data shall be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed.

Integrity & confidence
Personal data shall be kept in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.

Accountability
The controller shall be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate compliance with the GDPR.

Definitions

Data controller
The person who (either alone or with others) decides what personal information the organisation will hold and how it will be held or used.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
The UK legislation that provides a framework for responsible behaviour by those using personal information.

Data Protection Officer
The person on the Board of Trustees who is responsible for ensuring that it follows its data protection policy and complies with the Data Protection Act 1998

Data Subject/Service User
The individual whose personal information is being held or processed by the organisation (for example: a service user, donor or a volunteer).

‘Explicit’ consent
Consent is a freely given, specific and informed agreement by a data subject (see definition) to the processing of personal information about her/him.

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

  • racial or ethnic origin
  • political opinions;
  • religious or similar (e.g. philosophical) beliefs;
  • trade union membership;
  • health (including physical and mental health, and the provision of health care services);
  • genetic data;
  • biometric data;
  • sexual life and sexual orientation.

Notification
Notifying the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) about the data processing activities of the group.

Information Commissioner
The UK Information Commissioner responsible for implementing and overseeing the GDPR.

Processing
Processing is the 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 the organisation.

Privacy notice
A privacy notice is the communication provided to data subjects which explains how we will process their data and for what purposes.

Applying the General Data Protection Regulation

Whilst access to personal information is limited to the trustees/volunteers/sessional workers at SSDS, volunteers may undertake additional tasks which involve the collection of personal details from members of the public.

In such circumstances we will let people know why we are collecting their data and it is our responsibility to ensure the data is only used for this purpose.

Correcting data 

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. SSDS will check all data at point of collection and always correct any wrong or changed data when the individual points it out.

Responsibilities

SSDS is the Data Controller under GDPR, and is legally responsible for complying with the Regulation, which means that it determines what purposes personal information held will be used for.

The Trustees will take into account legal requirements and ensure that it is properly implemented, and will through appropriate management, strict application of criteria and controls:

  • carry out a Data Protection Impact Assessment before carrying out any data processing which is likely to result in high risk and whenever else the Data Protection Officer thinks it appropriate
  • observe fully conditions regarding the fair collection and use of information
  • meet its legal obligations to specify the purposes for which information is used
  • 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
  • ensure the quality of information used
  • ensure that the rights of people about whom information is held, can be fully exercised under GDPR. These include:
    • the right to be informed that processing is being undertaken
    • the right of access to one’s personal information
    • the right to prevent processing in certain circumstances and
    • the right to correct, rectify, block or erase information which is regarded as wrong information
  • take appropriate technical and organisational security measures to safeguard personal information
  • ensure that personal information is not transferred abroad without suitable safeguards
  • treat people justly and fairly whatever their age, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity when dealing with requests for information
  • set out clear procedures for responding to requests for information.

The Data Protection Officer on the Governance committee is:

Name: Jackie Fletcher

Contact details:  jackie@steppingstones.co.uk

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

  • everyone processing personal information understands that they are responsible for following good data protection practice
  • everyone processing personal information is appropriately trained to do so
  • everyone processing personal information is appropriately supervised
  • anybody wanting to make enquiries about handling personal information knows what to do
  • dealing promptly and courteously with any enquiries about handling personal information
  • describe clearly how it handles personal information
  • will regularly review and audit the ways it hold, manage and use personal information
  • will regularly assess and evaluate its methods and performance in relation to handling personal information
  • all staff and volunteers are aware that a breach of the rules and procedures identified in this policy may lead to action being taken against them

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 GDPR.

In case of any queries or questions in relation to this policy please contact SSDS’s Data Protection Officer.

Data collection

Informed consent
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.

SSDS 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, SSDS will ensure that the Data Subject:

  • clearly understands why the information is needed
  • understands what it will be used for and what the consequences are should the Data Subject decide not to give consent to processing
  • as far as reasonably possible, grants explicit consent, either written or verbal for data to be processed
  • is, as far as reasonably practicable, competent enough to give consent and has given so freely without any duress
  • has received sufficient information on why their data is needed and how it will be used

Data Storage

Information and records relating to members 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 statute and will be disposed of appropriately.

It is SSDS’s 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.

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 GDPR.

Data Subject Access Requests

Members of the public may request certain information from the local authority under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The Act does not apply to SSDS. However, if at any time we undertake the delivery of services under contracts with the local authority we may be required to assist them to meet the Freedom of Information Act request where we hold information on their behalf.

Disclosure

SSDS may need to share data with other agencies such as the local authority, funding bodies and other voluntary agencies.

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

These are:

  1. carrying out a legal duty or as authorised by the Secretary of State
  2. protecting vital interests of a Data Subject or other person
  3. the Data Subject has already made the information public
  4. conducting any legal proceedings, obtaining legal advice or defending any legal rights
  5. monitoring for equal opportunities purposes – i.e. race, disability or religion
  6. 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.

SSDS regards 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.

SSDS intends to ensure that personal information is treated lawfully and correctly.

Risk management

The consequences of breaching data protection can cause harm or distress to individuals if their information is released to inappropriate people, or they could be denied a service to which they are entitled. Volunteers/sessional workers should be aware that they can be personally liable if they use members personal data inappropriately. This policy is designed to minimise the risks and to ensure that the reputation of SSDS 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, i.e. only keep that data for the duration of administering a campaign/project and securely disposed of once the promotion and monitoring period is complete. We will ensure any list is securely stored and will remove individual details when they change or the person no longer receives the service. We will review any list annually. We will ensure that this information is confidentially destroyed at the end of the relevant retention period.

Further information 

If members of the public/or stakeholders have specific questions about information security and data protection in relation to SSDS please contact the Data Protection Officer:

The Information Commissioner’s website (www.ico.gov.uk) is another source of useful information.