Search site
»
Image icon - Data Protection

The Data Protection Act

The Data Protection Act became law on 1st March 2000, and all its provisions were fully activated by October 2001.

The Act gives rules for the way organisations treat personal information about you. It applies to information on computers and certain types of paper filing systems.

Basildon Borough Council needs personal information about its citizens and all other people who do business with the Council. We only collect and use this information in ways that the law allows. The Act puts an extra duty on us to make sure we use personal information fairly and correctly.
What information do we have about you?

The information we keep can include:

  • Forms you have completed and given to us
  • Letters and e-mails you have sent to us
  • Notes of information given to us verbally (in person or by telephone)
  • Details of any checks made to ensure the information we have is correct
  • Information about you supplied by other parties
  • Computer and paper records to do with your business with the Council

The law says we can sometimes share information about you with other organisations, such as The Benefits Agency, Inland Revenue, etc.

This can be because:

  • You have given permission
  • The law says we have to
  • A Court Order says it is necessary

How can I find out what information you have about me?

The Act allows you to find out what information is held about you on computer and in some paper records. This is known as the right of subject access. If you want to see the information we have about you, please try to tell us exactly what information you want to see. It may help us to know which area of service you are interested in, e.g. Council Tax, Housing, Planning, etc. This will help us to provide a better service because we may not need to ask you for further information. The Council has a form which will help you ask for what you want and provide the necessary information. There is also a Subject Access fee of £10.If we have the information, and we are allowed to disclose it, we have a duty to provide it within 40 days. You must ask for the information in writing and provide us with information that allows us to be sure of your identity and address. For example: please supply: full name, address, copy driving licence, etc. If you have any other reference numbers we use, such as a Benefit reference or Rent reference you think might assist us, please also include these.

The Act allows you to find out what information is held about you on computer and in some paper records. This is known as the right of subject access.

If you want to see the information we have about you, please try to tell us exactly what information you want to see.

It may help us to know which area of service you are interested in, e.g. Council Tax, Housing, Planning, etc. This will help us to provide a better service because we may not need to ask you for further information.

The Council has a form which will help you ask for what you want and provide the necessary information. There is also a Subject Access fee of £10.

If we have the information, and we are allowed to disclose it, we have a duty to provide it within 40 days.

You must ask for the information in writing and provide us with information that allows us to be sure of your identity and address. For example: please supply: full name, address, copy driving licence, etc.

If you have any other reference numbers we use, such as a Benefit reference or Rent reference you think might assist us, please also include these.

Can I see all the information held about me?

You can usually see all the information held about yourself, but there are some exceptions. These exceptions are mainly to do with:

  • Detecting and preventing crime
  • Catching and prosecuting offenders
  • Details which might put at risk other citizens or our staff
  • Information about other people, where their consent is withheld
  • Information protected by other legislation

Your right to see certain health or medical information may also be limited.

If you ask for information that includes something you do not have a right to see we may have to delete or remove information - but only if the law allows us to.

How and where do I send a request for information? 

To submit a Data Protection Request for Information, please download, complete and return a copy of the following Data Protection Subject Access Request Form to us, along with any relevant documentation and the payment required.

Please return your completed form:

  • By Post to:  The Data Protection Officer, Basildon Borough Council, The Basildon Centre, St Martin's Square, Basildon, Essex SS14 1DL

What if the information is incorrect?

You should write to tell us what information is incorrect, and ask for it to be corrected. We must tell you what has been done within 21 days of receipt. If we do not agree that the information is incorrect you can ask us to note your disagreement within the personal records we hold. You can also appeal to the Information Commissioner or the courts.

What can I claim compensation for?

If the Council has broken any of the rules or conditions of the Act and you have suffered substantial damage or distress you may have a right to compensation. You may also be able to claim compensation if the damage or distress was caused by inaccurate data.

What other rights do I have?

If you think we have used your personal data to send you promotional literature or advertising that you do not wish to receive, please write to the Council requesting us not to use your details for direct marketing.

If you think that the use of the personal data, or some parts of it could cause you unwarranted damage or distress, please write stating your reasons for stopping the processing.

Confidentiality and Fair Processing Statement

Basildon Borough Council collects information for a wide variety of purposes, including Housing, Council Tax, Benefits, Environment, Health, Grants, Leisure, Democratic and many other services. The information we collect about you will depend on the nature of your business with the Council, but may be used for any of the Council's purposes.

Specific conditions or restrictions may apply to some of the Council's services. A more specific "fair processing" statement may apply in some cases.

We may check information provided by you, or information provided about you by a third party, with other information held by us or by others.

We may also get information about you from certain third parties or give information to them.

  • To check the accuracy of information
  • To prevent or detect crime or to protect public funds in other ways
  • For reasons permitted or required by law
  • For research or statistical purposes

These third parties may include: other government or local government departments, bodies or agencies; banks, building societies and financial institutions; utility providers, educational bodies, research providers, health service providers, law enforcement agencies; job and employment agencies; partners or agents authorised by the Council for any Council function. This is not an exhaustive list.

We will not disclose information about you to anyone outside the Council unless the law permits or requires us to, or with your consent.

Basildon Borough Council is the Data Controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act.

Where do I get help and advice?

When communicating with the Council on a data protection matter, please contact the Data Protection Officer at the address given above or by e-mail to the dataprotectionofficer@basildon.gov.uk

More information is available from:

Office of the Information Commissioner
Springfield House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AX

or from their website at Office of the Information Commissioner 

Disclaimer

Remember that this is a general guide and is not a full and authoritative statement of the law. The Council has made every effort to ensure that the information is correct, but changes in the law may make the guidance become gradually less accurate.       

Powered by GOSS iCM