Customer services: privacy notice
Please note, from the 25th May 2018 the Data Protection Act 1998 will be replaced with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). This privacy notice will be updated prior to this date and you are advised to check back at this page.
The London Borough of Hounslow is a Data Controller and we are responsible for collecting and processing your personal information. Processing includes the organisation, retrieval, consultation, use and deletion or destruction of information and its disclosure to other agencies.
This privacy notice tells you what to expect when the Council collects personal information. This privacy notice covers contact with the Council and its officers directly, through email, telephone and this website.
The information you provide will be processed mainly in connection with the administration of the Council services. 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.
Information we collect
When you contact us by phone, email or through the Council’s website we may need to collect personal information about you or your family so that the appropriate service can be provided. The information we require from you may include personal information, such as:
- First name
- Family name or surname
- Telephone numbers
- Date of birth
- National Insurance number
- Email address
- Payment information
- IP Address (if using our website)
What do we use it for?
We use your personal data within the rules set out in the Data Protection Act 1998. We process this data for the following reasons:
- where you have consented to the processing
- to ensure we meet our legal requirements
- to allow us to communicate and provide services appropriate to your needs
- where we are legally obliged to undertake data processing e.g. for licensing, planning enforcement, trading standards, food safety, prevention and/or detection of fraud and crime
- to process financial transactions or where the council is acting on behalf of other government bodies e.g. Department for Works and Pensions
- where necessary to protect citizens from harm or injury
- to conduct research or statistical analysis that allows us to target and plan the provision of services
- to identify residents/users for the purpose of notifying them of proposed or planned changes to services that may affect them
- to assist the council in responding to emergencies or major accidents. This allows the council, in conjunction with the emergency services, to identify citizens who may need additional support.
Please note phone calls to our customer service team may be recorded for training and quality improvement purposes.
Who your information may be shared with (internally and externally)
If we are required to, we will only share your information with internal departments and other service providers, contractors and/or partner bodies, but only where it is necessary:
- to comply with a legal obligation
- where permitted under the Data Protection Act 1998
- where the disclosure is necessary for the purposes of the prevention and/or detection of crime
- where it is necessary to allow a third party working for or on behalf of the Council
We will strive to ensure that any personal data in our care will be kept safe and that where your information is disclosed to a third party, we will seek to ensure that the third party has sufficient systems and procedures in place to prevent the loss or damage of personal data.
We will not use your personal data for third party marketing purposes without your prior express consent.
How long will we keep your information?
We will keep your information on our records as long you remain a customer and will retain the information for a further two years.
Website and Online forms
When someone visits the Council’s website we use third-party services to collect standard internet usage log information. This information is only processed in a way which does not identify anyone. We collect information volunteered by members of the public via the online forms hosted by the Council.
My Hounslow Account
The My Hounslow Account provides you with a safe and flexible way to access Council services including online forms that may be of interest to you. We are continuing to develop the functionality of our website and its capacity to deliver personalised services. We will send you communications to alert you to new developments only if you have opted in to receive these. You will always have the option to opt out at any stage.
Data Matching and Auditing
London Borough of Hounslow is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for; auditing, or administering public funds, or where undertaking a public function, in order to prevent and detect fraud.
The Cabinet Office is responsible for carrying out data matching exercises.
Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. This is usually personal information. Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found it may indicate that there is an inconsistency which requires further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.
We participate in the Cabinet Office’s National Fraud Initiative: a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We are required to provide particular sets of data to the Minister for the Cabinet Office for matching for each exercise, as detailed in the National Fraud Initiative guidelines
The use of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998 or the General Data Protection Regulation.
Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a Code of Practice.
View further information on the Cabinet Office’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information.
We recognise that the information you provide may be sensitive and we will respect your confidentiality. We keep information about you confidential. This means we store it securely and control who has access to it. We will not store any information where we are not legally required to do so.
Use of IP addresses
The Council’s website does not automatically capture or store personal information, other than logging the user’s IP Address or the location of your computer or network on the Internet, for systems administration and troubleshooting purposes. If you are connected to the Internet, you have an IP address.
Links to Other Websites
You can read more about links to other websites on our Legal Notices page.
All the information you provide us is held within the European Economic Area (EEA).
The Council tries to be as open as it can be in terms of giving people access to their personal information. Individuals can find out if we hold any personal information by making a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act 1998.
You can make a request to the Council for any personal information we may hold about you by:
Completing the online form
Emailing the Customer Relations team – email@example.com
Writing to us:
London Borough of Hounslow
The information will be provided to you free of charge.
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.
This privacy notice was drafted with brevity and clarity in mind. It does not provide exhaustive detail of all aspects of the Council’s collection and use of personal information. However, we are happy to provide any additional information or explanation needed. Any requests for this should be sent to:
London Borough of Hounslow
If you want to make a complaint you can contact us on:
London Borough of Hounslow
Data Protection Officer
The Council’s Data Protection Officer can be contacted on:
Email the information governance team
Information Governance Team
London Borough of Hounslow
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 from us, visit the Information Commissioner’s website.
If you have any concerns regarding our 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