The London Borough of Hounslow is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy and meeting its obligation under data protection law and other relevant legislation for example the Local Government Acts and the Localism Act 2011.This notice explains how your information is collected, used, shared and retained by the Council.
This notice provides an overview of services provided by the Council and tells you what to expect us to do with your personal information. For more information on how different services across the Council process your information, please read their respective privacy notices.
If you have any questions about this notice or any concerns about how we process your data, please contact our Data Protection Officer, contact details available at the end of this privacy notice.
This privacy notice is regularly reviewed however, you are advised to check this page from time to time for any updates to this notice.
Why we need your information (purposes of processing)
For some of our services, we need to use your personal data so that we can deliver our range of statutory services to support you. Quite often we will need to contact you in order to communicate with you, to investigate any concerns or complaints you have about our services and as part of our continuous improvement to deliver better services. We also need your data to help with research and planning of new services.
How the law allows us to use your personal data
There are a number of legal reasons why we need to collect and use your personal information. Our service specific privacy notices explain which legal reason is being used for each service. We generally collect and use personal data where:
- you, or your legal representative, have given consent
- you have entered into a contract with us
- it is necessary to perform our statutory duties
- it is necessary to protect someone in an emergency
- it is required by law
- it is necessary for employment purposes
- it is necessary to deliver health or social care services
- you have made your information publicly available
- it is necessary for legal cases
- it is to the benefit of society as a whole
- it is necessary to protect public health
- it is necessary for archiving, research, or statistical purposes
Gaining your consent
During your contact with the council, you will be informed of how your or your children's information will be used and that it may be necessary to share this with other services and organisations.
If you do not wish for us to share information, you should let us know. However, there are times when your information could still be shared, for example:
- the stated purposes we tell you about when you supply us with information
- as part of our duty to protect a child, a vulnerable adult, yourself or the public
- for the prevention and detection of a crime
- the assessment of any tax or duty
- if we are required to do so by any court or law
You have the right to remove consent at any time. If you want to remove your consent, please contact the specific service that you are in communication with who will deal with your request.
How long do we keep your personal information?
We often keep your personal data for audit purposes, legal reasons and best practice records management guidelines. There are set periods of time for keeping information which we incorporate where applicable as part of our records management policy and retention schedules. This ranges from months for some records to decades for more sensitive records.
Who do we share your information with?
We work with a range of partner organisations to help deliver our services to you. Where we have these arrangements there is always an agreement in place to make sure that the organisation complies with data protection law.
Sometimes we have a legal duty to provide personal information to other organisations. For example, we need to give personal data to the courts, including:
- if we take a child into care;
- if the court orders that we provide the information; and
- if someone is taken into care under mental health law.
We may also share your personal information when we feel there's a good reason to override the protection of your privacy. This doesn't happen often, but we may share your information:
- in order to prevent crime and fraud; or
- if there are serious risks to the public, our staff or to other professionals; or
- to protect vulnerable children and adults
For all of these reasons the risk must be serious before we can override your right to privacy.
Data Matching and Auditing
We are required by law to protect the public funds we administer. We may use the information you provide to us for the prevention and detection of crime. We may also share this information with other bodies that are responsible for auditing or administering public funds including the Department for Work and Pensions, other local authorities, HM Revenue and Customers and the Police.
The council uses data matching as a way of processing large volumes of information. While this can be a useful way of detecting fraud, it also enables us to identify information that is inaccurate or out of date, helping us comply with Data Protection law, while improving service provision.
As part of the council’s fraud prevention and detection activities, the council participates in the National Fraud Initiative (NFI). The data matching exercise is run by the Cabinet Office. More information is available online.
Transfers to third countries
All the information you provide us is held within the UK and European Economic Area
Your data protection rights
The rights available to you depend on our reason for processing your information. For further information about your data protection rights and how to make a request, please see ‘Your rights’
How do we protect and keep your information secure?
We take the protection of your personal data seriously whether it be electronic or paper records. Examples of our protective controls include:
- Encryption, meaning that information is hidden so that it cannot be read without special knowledge (such as a password)
- Verification processes in place to seek to validate and verify information
- Controlling access to systems and networks allows us to stop people who are not allowed to view your personal information from getting access to it
- Training for our staff allows us to make them aware of how to handle information and how and when to report when something goes wrong
Your right to make a complaint
The Council tries to meet the highest standards when collecting and using personal information. For this reason, we take any complaints we receive about this very seriously. We encourage people to bring it to our attention if they think that our collection or use of information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate.
If you want to make a complaint you can contact us on:
London Borough of Hounslow
7 Bath Road
Data Protection Officer
The Council’s Data Protection Officer can be contacted on:
Information Governance Team
London Borough of Hounslow
7 Bath Road,
Information Commissioner’s Office
The Information Commissioner is the UK's independent body set up to uphold information rights.
If you would like to know more about your rights under the Data Protection law, and what you should expect, visit the Information Commissioner’s website: https://ico.org.uk/
If you have any concerns regarding any privacy practices or about exercising your Data Protection rights, you may contact the Information Commissioner’s Office:
Information Commissioner's Office
Telephone: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545 745
A full list of what information we control and process and for what purposes is set out in our notification with the Information Commissioner's Register of Data Controllers. Our registration number is Z5761176. You can view our registration on the Information Commissioner's website.
Last Updated: 04 July 2023