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Data protection policy
Context and overview
Policy prepared by:
Approved by board / management on:
Policy became operational on:
Next review date:
needs to gather and use certain information about individuals.
These can include customers, suppliers, business contacts, employees and other people the organisation has a relationship with or may need to contact.
This policy describes how this personal data must be collected, handled and stored to meet the company’s data protection standards — and to comply with the law.
Why this policy exists
This data protection policy ensures :
Complies with data protection law and follow good practice
Protects the rights of staff, customers and partners
Is open about how it stores and processes individuals’ data
Protects itself from the risks of a data breach
Data protection law
The Data Protection Act 1998 describes how organisations — including — must collect, handle and store personal information.
These rules apply regardless of whether data is stored electronically, on paper or on other materials.
To comply with the law, personal information must be collected and used fairly, stored safely and not disclosed unlawfully.
The Data Protection Act is underpinned by eight important principles. These say that personal data must:
Be processed fairly and lawfully
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Be obtained only for specific, lawful purposes
Be adequate, relevant and not excessive
Be accurate and kept up to date
Not be held for any longer than necessary
Processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects
Be protected in appropriate ways
Not be transferred outside the European Economic Area (EEA), unless that country or territory also ensures an adequate level of protection
People, risks and responsibilities
This policy applies to:
The head office of
All branches of
All staff and volunteers of
All contractors, suppliers and other people working on behalf of
It applies to all data that the company holds relating to identifiable individuals, even if that information technically falls outside of the Data Protection Act 1998. This can include:
Names of individuals
…plus any other information relating to individuals
Data protection risks
This policy helps to protect from some very real data security risks, including:
Breaches of confidentiality. For instance, information being given out inappropriately.
Failing to offer choice. For instance, all individuals should be free to choose how the company uses data relating to them.
Reputational damage. For instance, the company could suffer if hackers successfully gained access to sensitive data.
Everyone who works for or with has some responsibility for ensuring data is
collected, stored and handled appropriately.
Each team that handles personal data must ensure that it is handled and processed in line with this policy and data protection principles.
However, these people have key areas of responsibility:
The board of directors is ultimately responsible for ensuring that meets its legal obligations.
The , , is responsible for:
Keeping the board updated about data protection responsibilities, risks and issues.
Reviewing all data protection procedures and related policies, in line with an agreed schedule.
Arranging data protection training and advice for the people covered by this policy.
Handling data protection questions from staff and anyone else covered by this policy.
Dealing with requests from individuals to see the data holds about them (also called ‘subject access requests’).
Checking and approving any contracts or agreements with third parties that may handle the company’s sensitive data.
Ensuring all systems, services and equipment used for storing data meet acceptable security standards.
Performing regular checks and scans to ensure security hardware and software is functioning properly.
Evaluating any third-party services the company is considering using to store or process data. For instance, cloud computing services.
Approving any data protection statements attached to communications such as emails and letters.
Addressing any data protection queries from journalists or media outlets like newspapers.
Where necessary, working with other staff to ensure marketing initiatives abide by data protection principles.
General staff guidelines
The only people able to access data covered by this policy should be those who need it for their work.
Data should not be shared informally. When access to confidential information is required, employees can request it from their line managers.
will provide training to all employees to help them understand their responsibilities when handling data.
Employees should keep all data secure, by taking sensible precautions and following the guidelines below.
In particular, strong passwords must be used and they should never be shared.
Personal data should not be disclosed to unauthorised people, either within the company or externally.
Data should be regularly reviewed and updated if it is found to be out of date. If no longer required, it should be deleted and disposed of.
Employees should request help from their line manager or the data protection officer if they are unsure about any aspect of data protection.
These rules describe how and where data should be safely stored. Questions about storing data safely can be directed to the IT manager or data controller.
When data is stored on paper, it should be kept in a secure place where unauthorised people cannot see it.
These guidelines also apply to data that is usually stored electronically but has been printed out for some reason:
When not required, the paper or files should be kept in a locked drawer or filing cabinet.
Employees should make sure paper and printouts are not left where unauthorised people could see them, like on a printer.
Data printouts should be shredded and disposed of securely when no longer required.
When data is stored electronically, it must be protected from unauthorised access, accidental deletion and malicious hacking attempts:
Data should be protected by strong passwords that are changed regularly and never shared between employees.
If data is stored on removable media (like a CD or DVD), these should be kept locked away securely when not being used.
Data should only be stored on designated drives and servers, and should only be uploaded to an approved cloud computing services.
Servers containing personal data should be sited in a secure location, away from general office space.
Data should be backed up frequently. Those backups should be tested regularly, in line with the company’s standard backup procedures.
Data should never be saved directly to laptops or other mobile devices like tablets or smart phones.
All servers and computers containing data should be protected by approved security software and a firewall.
Personal data is of no value to unless the business can make use of it. However, it is when personal data is accessed and used that it can be at the greatest risk of loss, corruption or theft:
When working with personal data, employees should ensure the screens of their computers are always locked when left unattended.
Personal data should not be shared informally. In particular, it should never be sent by email, as this form of communication is not secure.
Data must be encrypted before being transferred electronically. The IT manager can explain how to send data to authorised external contacts.
Personal data should never be transferred outside of the European Economic Area.
Employees should not save copies of personal data to their own computers. Always access and update the central copy of any data.
The law requires to take reasonable steps to ensure data is kept accurate and up to date.
The more important it is that the personal data is accurate, the greater the effort should put into ensuring its accuracy.
It is the responsibility of all employees who work with data to take reasonable steps to ensure it is kept as accurate and up to date as possible.
Data will be held in as few places as necessary. Staff should not create any unnecessary additional data sets.
Staff should take every opportunity to ensure data is updated. For instance, by confirming a customer’s details when they call.
will make it easy for data subjects to update the information holds about them. For instance, via the company website.
Data should be updated as inaccuracies are discovered. For instance, if a customer can no longer be reached on their stored telephone number, it should be removed from the database.
It is the marketing manager’s responsibility to ensure marketing databases are checked against industry suppression files every six months.
Subject access requests
All individuals who are the subject of personal data held by are entitled to:
Ask what information the company holds about them and why.
Ask how to gain access to it.
Be informed how to keep it up to date.
Be informed how the company is meeting its data protection obligations.
If an individual contacts the company requesting this information, this is called a subject access request.
Subject access requests from individuals should be made by email, addressed to the data controller at [email address]. The data controller can supply a standard request form, although individuals do not have to use this.
Individuals will be charged £10 per subject access request. The data controller will
aim to provide the relevant data within 14 days.
The data controller will always verify the identity of anyone making a subject access request before handing over any information.
Disclosing data for other reasons
In certain circumstances, the Data Protection Act allows personal data to be disclosed to law enforcement agencies without the consent of the data subject.
Under these circumstances, will disclose requested data. However, the data controller will ensure the request is legitimate, seeking assistance from the board and from the company’s legal advisers where necessary.
aims to ensure that individuals are aware that their data is being processed, and that they understand:
How the data is being used
How to exercise their rights
To these ends, the company has a privacy statement, setting out how data relating to individuals is used by the company.
The aim of the GDPR is to protect all EU citizens from privacy and data breaches in an increasingly data-driven world that is vastly different from the time in which the 1995 directive was established. Although the key principles of data privacy still hold true to the previous directive, many changes have been proposed to the regulatory policies; the key points of the GDPR as well as information on the impacts it will have on business can be found below.
Increased Territorial Scope (extra-territorial applicability)Arguably the biggest change to the regulatory landscape of data privacy comes with the extended jurisdiction of the GDPR, as it applies to all companies processing the personal data of data subjects residing in the Union, regardless of the company’s location. Previously, territorial applicability of the directive was ambiguous and referred to data process 'in context of an establishment'. This topic has arisen in many high-profile court cases. GPDR makes its applicability very clear - it will apply to the processing of personal data by controllers and processors in the EU, regardless of whether the processing takes place in the EU or not. The GDPR will also apply to the processing of personal data of data subjects in the EU by a controller or processor not established in the EU, where the activities relate to: offering goods or services to EU citizens (irrespective of whether payment is required) and the monitoring of behavior that takes place within the EU. Non-Eu businesses processing the data of EU citizens will also have to appoint a representative in the EU.
PenaltiesUnder GDPR organizations in breach of GDPR can be fined up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 Million (whichever is greater). This is the maximum fine that can be imposed for the most serious infringements e.g. Not having sufficient customer consent to process data or violating the core of Privacy by Design concepts. There is a tiered approach to fines e.g. a company can be fined 2% for not having their records in order (article 28), not notifying the supervising authority and data subject about a breach or not conducting impact assessment. It is important to note that these rules apply to both controllers and processors -- meaning 'clouds' will not be exempt from GDPR enforcement. ConsentThe conditions for consent have been strengthened, and companies will no longer be able to use long illegible terms and conditions full of legalese, as the request for consent must be given in an intelligible and easily accessible form, with the purpose for data processing attached to that consent. Consent must be clear and distinguishable from other matters and provided in an intelligible and easily accessible form, using clear and plain language. It must be as easy to withdraw consent as it is to give it.
Data Subject Rights Breach Notification
Under the GDPR, breach notification will become mandatory in all member states where a data breach is likely to “result in a risk for the rights and freedoms of individuals”. This must be done within 72 hours of first having become aware of the breach. Data processors will also be required to notify their customers, the controllers, “without undue delay” after first becoming aware of a data breach.
Right to AccessPart of the expanded rights of data subjects outlined by the GDPR is the right for data subjects to obtain from the data controller confirmation as to whether personal data concerning them is being processed, where and for what purpose. Further, the controller shall provide a copy of the personal data, free of charge, in an electronic format. This change is a dramatic shift to data transparency and empowerment of data subjects. Right to be ForgottenAlso known as Data Erasure, the right to be forgotten entitles the data subject to have the data controller erase his/her personal data, cease further dissemination of the data, and potentially have third parties halt processing of the data. The conditions for erasure, as outlined in article 17, include the data no longer being relevant to original purposes for processing, or a data subjects withdrawing consent. It should also be noted that this right requires controllers to compare the subjects' rights to "the public interest in the availability of the data" when considering such requests. Data PortabilityGDPR introduces data portability - the right for a data subject to receive the personal data concerning them, which they have previously provided in a 'commonly use and machine-readable format' and have the right to transmit that data to another controller. Privacy by DesignPrivacy by design as a concept has existed for years now, but it is only just becoming part of a legal requirement with the GDPR. At its core, privacy by design calls for the inclusion of data protection from the onset of the designing of systems, rather than an addition. More specifically - 'The controller shall. Implement appropriate technical and organizational measures. In an effective way. to meet the requirements of this Regulation and protect the rights of data subjects'. Article 23 calls for controllers to hold and process only the data necessary for the completion of its duties (data minimization), as well as limiting the access to personal data to those needing to act out the processing. Data Protection OfficersCurrently, controllers are required to notify their data processing activities with local DPAs, which, for multinationals, can be a bureaucratic nightmare with most Member States having different notification requirements. Under GDPR it will not be necessary to submit notifications / registrations to each local DPA of data processing activities, nor will it be a requirement to notify / obtain approval for transfers based on the Model Contract Clauses (MCCs). Instead, there will be internal record keeping requirements, as further explained below, and DPO appointment will be mandatory only for those controllers and processors whose core activities consist of processing operations which require regular and systematic monitoring of data subjects on a large scale or of special categories of data or data relating to criminal convictions and offences. Importantly, the DPO: