CESS Data Protection Policy
CESS Data Protection Policy
1. Data Protection
1.1. By law CESS are required to have a defined policy to regulate how it obtains, handles, processes, transports and stores personal and private client information.
1.2. In order to carry out our work in an expeditious and efficient manner, it is necessary for us to store that personal and private information in our computer systems. This policy has been designed with two goals;
• to ensure that CESS as an organisation, and each member of that organisation, understands their responsibilities to our clients when dealing with their personal information, and
• to show our clients that we take the protection of their personal and private information seriously, in order that we can build their trust in us.
1.3. As a minimum, our client’s personal and private data, whether it is held on paper, on computer or other media, will be subject to the appropriate legal safeguards as specified in the Data Protection Act 1998. CESS fully endorses and adheres to the eight principles of the Data Protection Act. These principles specify the legal conditions that must be satisfied in relation to obtaining, handling, processing, transportation and storage of personal data. Employees and any others who obtain, handle, process, transport and store personal data for CESS must adhere to these principles.
1.4. Above and beyond that, CESS will take proactive steps to ensure that our security systems and business processes reflect best-practice in gathering, processing and storing personal and private information.
2. Data Protection Principles
2.1. The principles require that personal information shall be;
• processed fairly and lawfully and shall not be processed unless certain conditions are met
• obtained for a specified and lawful purpose and shall not be processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose
• adequate, relevant and not excessive for those purposes
• accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date
• Not kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose
• processed in accordance with the data subject’s rights
• kept secure from unauthorised or unlawful processing and protected against accidental loss, destruction or damage by using the appropriate technical and organisational measures
• Not transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area, unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data.
3. Satisfaction of the Principles
3.1. In order to meet the requirements of the principles, CESS will;
• Observe fully the conditions regarding the fair collection and use of personal data
• Meet its obligations to specify the purposes for which personal data is used
• Collect and process appropriate personal data only to the extent that it is needed to fulfil operational or any legal requirements
• Ensure the quality of personal data used
• Apply strict checks to determine the length of time personal data is held
• Ensure that the rights of individuals about whom the personal data is held, can be fully exercised under the Act
• Take the appropriate technical and organisational security measures to safeguard personal data
• Ensure that personal data is not transferred abroad without suitable safeguards.
4. CESS’s Designated Data Controller
5. Subject Access
5.1. All individuals who are the subject of personal data held by CESS are entitled to;
• Ask what information CESS holds about them and why.
• Ask how to gain access to it.
• Be informed how to keep it up to date.
• Be informed what CESS is doing to comply with its obligations under the 1998 Data Protection Act.
6. Client Responsibilities
6.1. To ensure the integrity of the personal and private date held by CESS, clients are responsible for;
• Checking that any personal data that provide to CESS is accurate and up to date.
• Informing CESS of any changes to information that they have
7. Staff Responsibilities
7.1. All of CESS’s staff are responsible for ensuring the protection of our clients personal and private information. As a minimum, they are each charged with the responsibility for;
• Checking that any personal data that they obtain, handle, process, transport and store for CESS is accurate and up to date.
• Updating CESS’s records upon receipt of any changes a client wishes to make to the information stored by CESS e.g. changes of address.
• Checking any information that CESS may send out from time to time, giving details of information that is being kept and processed.
• Dealing with our client’s personal and private information in a manner consistent with which they would like to have their own personal and private information treated.
8. Data Security
8.1. The need to ensure that information is kept securely means that precautions will be taken against physical loss or damage, and that both access and disclosure must be restricted. All staff are responsible for ensuring that;
• Any personal data which they hold is kept securely
• Personal information is not disclosed either orally or in writing or otherwise to any unauthorised third party.
9. Rights to Access Information
9.1. Clients of CESS have the right to access any personal data that is being kept about them on computer and also have access to paper-based data held in certain manual filing systems. This right is subject to certain exemptions that are set out in the Data Protection Act. Any person who wishes to exercise this right should make the request in writing to CESS’s Designated Data Controller. CESS reserves the right to charge the maximum fee payable for each subject access request. If personal and private information are inaccurate, they can be amended upon request.
9.2. CESS aims to comply with requests for access to personal information as quickly as possible, but will ensure that it is provided within 30 days of receipt of a request under the same provisions as notices (under section 8 of CESS Website Terms & Conditions)
10. Publication of Personal and Private Information
10.1. Information that is already in the public domain is exempt from the 1998 Act. CESS may wish to publicise our relationship with a client for the purposes of marketing. Such publication will not take place without the client having been informed of such a wish, and their full consent to such publication being obtained in writing.
11. Retention of Data
11.1. CESS is under a legal duty to retain its client files for at least seven years from the date of completion of the matter. Some files are required for longer periods. CESS will keep some forms of information for longer than others. In any case, CESS, as an organisation, and each of its staff, will ensure that our client’s personal and private information is not kept for longer than necessary.