Citizens Advice Westminster complies with the Data Protection Act 1998 (the “Act”). For the purposes of the Act, Citizens Advice Westminster is the Data Controller.
Citizens Advice Westminster is committed to safeguarding your privacy, while providing a high quality of service. Citizens Advice Westminster will treat your personal information as confidential and your details will not be given or sold to anyone.
We will use the information collected online to help us understand more about how our site is used by visitors, and to develop and enhance our services to you.
When we handle and store our clients’ personal information we follow the law, including the Data Protection Act 1998.
When we ask you for personal information we will:
When we record and use your personal information we will:
When we share your personal information with another organisation we will:
All staff and volunteers who handle personal information are given training and we take it very seriously if someone fails to use or protect it properly.
If you’re unhappy with how we record and use your information you should follow our complaints procedure. Full details of the procedure are available on request.
Please let us know as soon as possible if anything relating to your contact details or issue changes, which may affect the information we hold.
Giving your consent:
Why do we need to collect your information?
As part of providing our advice and information services, Citizens Advice Westminster processes personal data relating to our clients. We are committed to being transparent about how we collect and use this data and will always obtain your consent first so that we meet our obligations as a Data Controller, under data protection regulation.
What kind of information do we record?
Some information is personal data; it could be used to identify a client. This includes their name, date of birth, address, e-mail or phone number. Some may be sensitive data, including things like clients’ ethnicity, gender, health and National Insurance number. We will also record the details of your enquiry and the advice and support you receive from us; this is needed for quality monitoring and insurance purposes.
How will you use my data?
First and foremost your data will be used to help with your case. We also use anonymised data (with no personal details) to help us understand how different problems are affecting society and to take action to tackle these problems.
Can I withhold my consent?
Yes. You have the right to withhold your consent and this will not affect the advice we give you. However, we will not be able to advise you without generating an anonymous record of your enquiry, needed for quality monitoring purposes. No personal information will be recorded, only what your enquiry was about. Choosing to do this will not affect the advice you receive.
What other data protection rights do I have?
From 25th May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulations come into force which give you further rights: to request we change any incorrect or incomplete data; to request we delete or stop processing your data; to obtain a copy of your data on request (you can do this by making a subject access request, which in most cases will be free of charge). If you believe we have not complied with your data protection rights you can complain to the Information Commissioner.
Where will you store my data?
Your case record will be stored securely in a shared electronic database system. Paper copies of your data may also be stored securely and both will be able to be accessed by staff and volunteers of the Citizens Advice service.
Why might you share my personal information? Who might you share it with?
We will not share information without your permission, unless required to do so by law.
How long will you keep my data?
In most cases we will retain your caserecord for a period of 6 years after the last contact we have with you. However, for cases where there has been a complaint or other dispute, then we will retain your caserecord for a period of sixteen years before disposing of it securely.
Email security and website forms
When you provide Citizens Advice Westminster with personal information, for example, when using the feedback form or referral form, we take steps to ensure that your information is processed securely.
Citizens Advice Westminster makes every effort to ensure the security and integrity of emails on our systems. Unfortunately, no data transmission over the internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, while we strive to protect your personal information after we’ve received it, Citizens Advice Westminster cannot ensure or guarantee the security of information when it is being transmitted.
What are cookies?
Cookies are small, harmless files placed on your computer’s hard drive or in your browser memory when you visit a website.
What do cookies do?
Cookies help to make the interaction between users and websites faster and easier. For example, they can remember your preferences for selected text resizing style, contrasts and even language selection. What cookies don’t do is store any personal or confidential information about you.
Are cookies safe?
Yes, cookies are harmless text files. They can’t look into your computer or read any personal information or other material on your hard drive. Cookies can’t carry viruses or install anything harmful on your computer.
We use track aspects of user visits, including the length of a user’s visit, their browser, geographic location and the use of the search facility on this website. Below is a list of the cookies we use:
|Cookie category||Cookie owners||Purpose|
|Website visit information||Google Analytics
||Enables users to share our webpages across Facebook and Twitter.|
|E-privacy||Citizens Advice Westminster||To help our site remember not to re-show the cookie message once a visitor has clicked ‘Don’t show this message again’. The cookie is currently set for 12 months, after which the message will reappear.
Turns the cookie message off when a visitor clicks through to another Citizens Advice Westminster page. If a visitor closes their browser session and then returns to the site, the message will reappear.
For more information on Google Analytics tracking: http://code.google.com/apis/analytics/docs/concepts/gaConceptsCookies.html
How you can manage or delete cookies
If you wish to restrict or block web browser cookies, the Help function within your browser should tell you how. Alternatively, these sites can provide more information on how to do this: