Data protection: Protecting your personal details - frequently asked questions (FAQ)
1. Does the Council disclose Personal Data held on the Council Tax Database to third parties for other purposes?
No. Under the data protection principles the Council can only process the personal data it holds for the purpose for which it was collected or for a compatible purpose.
As such, the Council only processes personal data held on the council tax database for council tax purposes unless an exemption applies. Also, the Council only corresponds with the person who is liable for the payment of council tax and does not disclose that person’s personal data to his or her family unless that person has consented.
If you do not pay your council tax, the Council may take steps to recover the money from you by issuing a summons to the court and referring the matter to a bailiff. In this case, the Council is authorised to disclose whatever personal data is necessary to facilitate this process.
An exemption may also apply which permits the Council to disclose personal data held on the council tax database to third parties. For example, the Council occasionally receives requests for personal data from the police and other government agencies to assist them in the investigation and prosecution of a crime.
2. Does the Council operate CCTVs and for what purpose?
Yes. The Council operates a number of CCTVs in the borough for the purpose of ensuring the safety of premises and preventing and investigating crime. In some cases, CCTV footage may be disclosed to the police in connection with the investigation or prosecution of a crime.
In many cases, the information captured on CCTV cameras will not be personal data because it does not identify people in the images and cannot be linked to any information which identifies those people. In these cases, the DPA will not apply.
For more information, please refer to the Council’s Code of Practice on CCTV usage.
3. Does the Council observe the Information Commissioner’s CCTV Code of Practice on CCTV usage?
Yes. The Code of Practice covers the quality, storage, retention, use, disclosure and access rights to CCTV images. While the Code of Practice is not legally binding on the Council, we nonetheless follow its guidance to ensure the proper use of CCTVs.
For further information about data protection and CCTV usage, please see the Information Commissioner’s guidance on CCTVs.
4. Does the DPA apply to children?
Yes. The DPA applies to all living individuals regardless of age. Therefore, the Council complies with the same obligations when processing children’s personal data.
A child also has the right to make a subject access request to see his or her personal data. In some cases a parent or guardian may exercise this right on the child’s behalf. To make a request for a child’s information, see ‘Asking for a child’s information.’
5. Do parents have to give their consent before the Council can process information about a child?
It depends. The Council does not need to obtain a person’s consent to process his or her information in all cases.
However, if the Council wishes to collect or process information about a child for any reason, the Council will usually inform the child’s parent or guardian in the first instance. For example, if the Council wishes to take photographs of children which identify those children at a Council charity event for the purposes of reporting the event in the Council’s newsletter, then we will take steps to seek parental consent, unless the children are able to consent themselves.