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Data protection and confidentiality

Using your information

Selwood Housing is registered as a data controller under the Data Protection Act as we collect and process personal information about you.

This notice explains how we use and share your information. 

How do we collect information about you?

We collect information from a number of sources.  This can include your letters and emails, our telephone conversations or any forms you fill in.  It can also come from any meetings we may have had with you.  We may also receive information from third parties if you have agreed they can share information with us or where the Data Protection Act allows them to share information.

What information do we hold about you?

 The type of information we hold about you will include personal information such as: 

  • Name and date of birth
  • Gender
  • Address and contact details
  • Summary of your contact with us and copies of correspondence
  • Details of the services you receive from us
  • Details of rent and other charges you need to pay and payments made
  • Details of Housing Benefit and other benefits you may receive
  • Other records relating to your tenancy or other services you receive

We may also hold information that the Data Protection Act defines as sensitive information.  For example, you may have provided us with information relating to your health, ethnicity or religion.

Why do we collect information about you?

We collect information about you, in order to:

  • Help confirm your identity
  • Contact you when we need to
  • Save you having to repeat the same information every time you contact us
  • Provide you with services that meet your needs
  • Inform you of other services that may be of interest to you
  • Help you claim benefits
  • Investigate complaints
  • Investigate breaches of the terms of your tenancy
  • Obtain your opinion about our services
  • Understand how we are performing and how we can improve
  • Meet the requirements of our regulators, such as the Homes and Communities Agency
  • Meet our legal obligations, such as those relating to equality and diversity and health and safety
  • Help prevent and detect crime and prosecute offenders
  • Help prevent and detect fraud

CCTV

We have installed CCTV at our Bryer Ash offices to help ensure the safety of staff and members of the public and to prevent and detect crime.  We will only release CCTV images for these purposes.  Images will not be used for entertainment purposes. 

You have the right to see CCTV images of yourself and be provided with a copy of those images.

We have put up signs advising you that CCTV is in place and who to contact for further information.

Looking after your information

As the information we hold about you can be personal and sensitive, it is very important that it is both accurate and protected against accidental loss or unauthorised use.  It must only be kept for as long as is necessary and destroyed securely when it is no longer needed. 

If staff misuse your information, or fail to look after it appropriately, we will treat it as a disciplinary matter.

We have policies on data protection, IT security and document retention that set out how we will look after your information.

Sharing information

We will only share information if one of the following applies:

  • We have your permission to do so
  • The Data Protection Act allows us to or says we have to
  • A court order says we have to

The information that we share is usually personal, rather than sensitive, data.  It is not possible to list every circumstance in which we share data but those outlined here are the most common.

We may need to pass your information to our contractors or other organisations that provide services for us.  This includes companies that we ask to carry out research on our behalf.  These providers must keep your details secure and use them only for the purpose for which they are being supplied.

As part of our governance structure we have a scrutiny panel and a team of customer service inspectors that report into our leadership team and board of directors.  These are groups of tenants that monitor the work we do and help ensure that the services we provide offer value for money.  To do this they may need access to tenants’ and customers’ personal data although this will only be made available where it is absolutely necessary for them to be able to carry out their role.  All members of the scrutiny panel and customer service inspectors receive training on data protection and have to sign an agreement to confirm that they have understood what they need to do to ensure that personal data is kept confidential.

Personal data will be shared with local authorities to help process housing benefit claims and ensure their records are kept up to date.  They may also request other information from us to ensure that Council Tax is being charged correctly.

We may provide information to the Police to assist in the prevention and detection of crime and the apprehension and prosecution of offenders.  We may also pass information to other third parties to help prevent and detect fraud and other crime.

Selwood Housing takes part in a project to ensure that public money is being spent appropriately.  This is called the National Fraud Initiative.  Information we hold about you is given to the Audit Commission and this information is matched with data held by other housing associations and public bodies such as district and county councils, unitary authorities, the Police and NHS trusts.  The aim is to identify fraud and our participation will help in the prevention and detection of fraud against us.

We may provide your name and address to utility companies to ensure that bills are being charged to the correct people.

We may pass information to social services, the Police or health and care professionals to help prevent harm to you or another individual.  Where there is a risk of harm to our contractors or other companies working on our behalf, we may share information with them to help ensure their safety. 

At no time will your information be passed to organisations for marketing or sales purposes or for any commercial use without your prior consent.

Your rights

You have the right to ask Selwood Housing to stop processing your personal data.  However, this may cause delays or prevent us delivering a service to you.  We may also be required to process or share certain information to meet a legal obligation.

You are entitled to ask for access to any information that we hold about you and a copy of that information.  The request must be made in writing and we will provide it within 40 calendar days.  However, there may be circumstances in which we cannot provide details of the information we hold about you.  This could be in cases where the detection of crime or the health and safety of staff and other individuals would be put at risk by providing the information.

We always try to ensure that any information we hold about you is correct.  However, there may be occasions when you find the information we hold is no longer accurate and you have the right to have this corrected.  You can help us keep your information up to date by letting us know if any of your details change.

Please contact customer services on 01225 715715 to exercise any of these rights or if you have a complaint about how your information has been used.

Further information

Selwood Housing’s registration as a Data Controller is in the Public Register of Data Controllers, which can be found on the Information Commissioner’s website http://www.ico.org.uk

Further guidance and information on the Data Protection Act can also be found on the Information Commissioner’s website.

You may also contact Selwood Housing’s Data Protection Officer at:

Selwood Housing, Bryer Ash Business Park, Bradford Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8RT
Telephone 01225 715715 or email dataprotection@selwoodhousing.com

 

 

 

 

 

this page was last updated: 13/01/2017 15:11:00

 

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