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Privacy statement

We are a local authority based in the United Kingdom. The following explains how we use your personal information at Guildford Borough Council. We also provide details about your privacy when using our websites. We provide a more detailed privacy notice whenever we collect your personal information.

Why do we hold personal information?

We keep personal information about you so that we can:

  • Provide the services you need
  • Collect Council Tax or rent
  • Assess the correct level of benefit for your needs
  • Give you up to date information about our services

Who do we share this information with?

We may share information you provide with other agencies involved in providing services to you or with other Council departments, if you have agreed to this or if we have to do so legally. The information we share will only be the minimum amount necessary so that we can provide services.

We may also reveal your personal information to:

  • Government departments if we have to do so legally
  • Other local authorities when you have moved from one area to another and the new authority needs confirmation of the services you are receiving

We often have to provide information to other agencies for statistical research. However, when we do this we make the information anonymous first. This means it doesn't include anything that could be used to identify you - such as your name and address - unless you have given us your permission to share that information.

In a small number of cases, we will share information with the police (an example being CCTV images). However, we would only do this to help prevent or detect a crime.

How do we keep information and who is responsible for it?

We hold the information confidentially on secure computer networks, some of which are provided by our trusted partners under a contract in line with the Data Protection Act 1998. We may also hold information in secure manual filing systems.

Each Council department, which provides services to you, is responsible for maintaining your records and keeping them secure.

Our employees have a duty of care when using your personal information. This includes respecting your right to confidentiality and making sure that we use information and give it to others only if we have to in order to carry out the service being provided or because we have to legally.

Your personal information rights

You have the right to:

  • Ask if we hold personal information about you
  • Ask what we use the information for
  • Receive a copy of the information we hold
  • Know whether we reveal your personal information to other people or organisations
  • Ask us to correct any incorrect data we hold

You are entitled to see your personal information, with some specific exceptions. For example, you will not usually be allowed to see personal information that contains details about someone else - even a member of your own family - until that person has given permission.

In cases where any personal information relates to your health, we may need to ask the relevant health professional for permission to reveal this to you.

There may be rare occasions when we cannot give you access to your personal information because, for very good and valid reasons, we believe it would not be in your best interests to see it. If this is the case, we will give you a full explanation at the time so that you understand why we have made this decision.

How to access your personal information

To access your personal information you will need to complete a Subject Access Request. This form will give us enough information to confirm your identity and any other details that may help us to find your information.

We will aim to respond to all requests for personal information within 40 days of receiving your request. You must also pay a fee of £10.

Your privacy when using our websites

Our websites are provided to support the services we provide as a local authority.

Providing visitors with anonymous access

You can access our website home page and browse our sites without disclosing your personal information except on pages or forms where it is clearly stated otherwise.

The services and links from our websites

Any links to third party web service providers from our websites will be made clear.

Automatic collection of information

We do not automatically log personal data nor do we link information automatically logged by other means (such as cookies) with personal information about specific individuals.

Our purposes for collecting personal information

We do not collect any personal information from our visitors when they use our online services except where this is obvious (for example when making online payments). Wherever you are asked to provide personal information, you will be given an opportunity to read an explanation of why it is required and anything else necessary to keep you informed.

We do not collect information about our online visitors from other sources, such as public records or bodies, or private organisations except where this is necessary to provide a service. We will clearly indicate when this is the case.

Additional information

For further details about your rights under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the way in which we handle your personal information, please view our leaflet Your Right to Know. Our general policy on handling personal information within the council is available online (about the Data Protection Act)

Privacy compliance

We are voluntarily committed to a self-assessment procedure subject to independent supervision by the Information Commissioner's Office.

Self-assessment procedure and privacy support

Information Rights Officer
Guildford Borough Council
Millmead House

Tel: 01483 505 050
Fax: 01483 444 444
Email: iro@guildford.gov.uk

You can also get more information on data protection legislation from:

The Office of the Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Tel: 01625 545 745
Information Commissioner's Office