Wandsworth Council Privacy Notice
In order to meet its responsibilities as a local authority the Council is required to process considerable amounts of information. Where this involves your personal data the Council must comply with the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998.
Using your personal data
The Council may collect and process data about you which may include information you provide to us when interacting with us, including but not limited to when you complete Council forms or applications. This may also include information about you that is provided by another person on your behalf, for example where your partner fills out a joint application for you or where an application is completed by your partner or relative on your behalf.
In most cases you will have indicated your consent to your personal data being used by providing your details; however, there are circumstances where the Council may be required to process your personal data without first seeking your consent.
The Council's primary purpose for processing your personal data is in order to provide services to which you are entitled and in order to get in touch with you.
As part of this function the Council will use your information:
- for the particular purpose(s) specified at the point data is provided by you or by another person on your behalf;
- to communicate and consult with you in order to provide services appropriate to your needs;
- to monitor and improve performance in relation to those services;
- to assist with the planning of future service provision;
- for all law enforcement, regulation and licensing, criminal prosecutions and court proceedings. We will use all information held by us in order to undertake those functions efficiently and effectively;
- for the prevention and detection of fraud. We may also share your information with other bodies responsible for the auditing or administering of public funds for these purposes.
- for the maintenance and improvement of the services which we deliver, this includes the development and upgrading of the systems which we use to process your information; and
- where there are financial transactions relating to some services, such as grants, payments and benefits. We therefore may use your information for all uses relating to situations where you owe money to the Council, or where we are paying you money, or you are claiming grants, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction, your personal information (other than just your name, address, dates of birth etc.) will be kept secure and used only for that range of purposes.
By doing that, we are able to:
- provide you with a better level of service, ensuring that our information about you is accurate and up to date;
- ensure that public ('taxpayers') money is spent wisely and efficiently;
- avoid paying people money that they may not be entitled to;
- avoid having to ask people to pay money back when it has been paid to them incorrectly; and
- reduce fraud and crime generally.
It is important to us that we treat you as our customer and we will therefore share information such as a change of address or name within the Council in order to minimise inefficiency.
The Council will do its best to keep information about you accurate and up to date.
The Council is required by law to protect the public funds which it is responsible for administering, and so information held about you may be used for the prevention and detection of fraud, and may be shared with other relevant public agencies such as the Audit Commission, the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs, the Police, and other local authorities.
The Council may also act without your consent in relation to law enforcement, regulation and licensing matters.
Sharing your personal data
As indicated above, there are circumstances where there may be a legal requirement for the Council to share your personal data with other relevant public agencies.
Where services are not provided directly by the Council it may be necessary to pass your personal data to organisations contracted to provide those services. These organisations will be authorised to act for the Council, and must also comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.
Recording telephone calls
The Council does not routinely record or monitor all telephone calls, and you will be informed if it is intended that your telephone call will be recorded or monitored. This will be for staff training purposes or in order to keep a record of a transaction. Any recordings will be stored and retained in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998.
Where CCTV has been installed in or outside of Council premises, this is for the safety of both the public and Council staff, and for preventing or detecting crime. CCTV images will be stored and retained in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998, and will only be passed to the appropriate agencies in relation to the purposes stated above.
The Council's website
There is a separate statement regarding your use of the Council's website and information that you provide or is provided on your behalf to the Council via the use of the Council's website.
The Data Protection Act 1998 provides you with certain rights in relation to the personal data which the Council holds about you:
You have a right of access to information held about you by making a Subject Access Request. There are circumstances where information may be withheld from you, but this will only be as permitted by the Data Protection Act 1998.
You have a right to ask that the Council stops processing your personal data in any specific circumstance although, again, the Act does recognise that the Council may need to process your personal data in order to comply with a legal obligation and so it is possible that the Council may not be in a position to comply with your request.
Comprehensive guidance on the Data Protection Act 1998 can be found by visiting the Information Commissioner's website.