Corporate privacy notice

Online council services

Privacy and cookies

We are a data controller under the UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act, 2018 as we collect and process personal information in order to provide public services and meet our statutory obligations. Please see the Departmental Privacy Notices page for a detailed  description to the public services in which we may use your personal data.

We are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. Through this Privacy Notice we have sought to be as transparent as possible to fully explain how your personal data is held and processed.

This Privacy Notice explains when and why we collect personal information about people who engage or come into contact with us, whether via applying or receiving our services, living or visiting the borough or our website.  Upon visiting our websites, we will use third party service providers to collect technical information from your device including standard internet log information such as the Internet Protocol (IP) address, your browser type and version, and certain page interaction information.

This notice explains how we collect, use and share your information and how long we keep it, and how we keep it secure. View a short video introduction to our privacy notices

Each service that we provide or you engage with also has its own Privacy Notice to explain in more details how they use your information and the legal basis for using the information.

We may change this Privacy Notice from time to time so please check this page regularly to ensure that you’re happy with any changes.

Any questions regarding our privacy practices should be sent by email to:

Data Protection Officer
Waltham Forest Town Hall
Forest Road
E17 4JF

We may collect various types of personal data about individuals depending on the services you receive and your contact with the council, such as your:

  • contact details; including name, address, email address, telephone number, etc.
  • date of birth
  • proof of identity
  • national identifiers such as; NHS number and NI numbers
  • information about your family
  • IP address and information regarding what pages are accessed and when
  • lifestyle, social and personal circumstances
  • the services you receive
  • financial details for purposes of receiving or making payments
  • employment details (when you apply for jobs)
  • housing information relating your council tenancy
  • visual images, personal appearance and behaviour
  • licenses or permits held
  • business activities

We may also collect sensitive personal data (also known as special categories of data) that may include:

  • physical or mental health details
  • racial or ethnic origin
  • gender and sexual orientation
  • trade union membership
  • political affiliation and opinions
  • offences (including alleged offences)
  • religious or other beliefs of a similar nature
  • criminal proceedings, outcomes and sentences

We may also record and monitor telephone calls to our Contact Centre for quality and training purposes.

We need your personal data in order to provide you with council services that you apply for or receive from us and also for where we are required to use information in order to meet our statutory obligations or public tasks.  We will only collect personal data that is absolutely necessary and any information we collect about you will be used strictly in accordance with the Data Protection legislation and other statutory obligations which we are bound by.

We process your information for the following services:

In most cases the information will be collected and used where we have statutory obligations to collect use or share your information or where you have consented or agreed to receive a service. 

You will be advised of any additional purposes or uses at the time the information is collected or used.

We have a statutory obligation to collect, process and share personal or sensitive personal information without consent, with our partners such as the NHS, housing associations, schools, central government, such as DWP, HMRC, Home Office, Department Of Education, Department of Health, other councils and law enforcement agencies such as the Police and the Crown prosecution service, for the following purposes:

  • health and wellbeing and public health
  • safeguarding of vulnerable adults and children
  • the prevention and detection of crime
  • the assessment of any tax or duty
  • collection of debt
  • if we are required to do so by any court or law
  • prevention of fraud
  • the national fraud initiative
  • protect you or other individuals from serious harm
  • protect public funds
  • public safety and law enforcement
  • criminal or civil prosecution of offenders
  • national security

We may also share your information with our partners to deliver national government programmes and initiatives such as the Troubled Families programme, or improving services we deliver, or provide the services you agreed to receive. We may share with: 

  • NHS (GPs, hospital, mental health, CCGs etc.)
  • schools
  • voluntary sectors
  • central government
  • other councils
  • housing associations

In most cases this will be done where there is a lawful basis under the conditions set out in the Data Protection Legislation.

We may also share your information with third party service providers working on our behalf for the purposes of completing tasks and providing services to you on our behalf (for example; domiciliary care providers).  However, when we use third party service providers, we disclose only the personal information that is necessary to deliver the service and we have a contract in place that requires them to keep your information secure, as required by the Data Protection Act 2018 and (GDPR), and not to use it for any other purposes.

We will never use or share your personal information to third parties for marketing purposes without your permission.

We review our retention periods of the information we hold about you on a regular basis.  We are legally required to hold some types of information to fulfil our statutory obligations.

We will hold your personal information on our systems for as long as it is necessary for the relevant activity or service that we provide to you, or as required by law.

We may process your data as anonymised or pseduonomised for longer periods of time for the purposes of research, statistical or archiving  in the public interest, subject to the implementation of appropriate measures to safeguard your rights and freedoms of individuals and in accordance with the NHS National patient data Opt-Out. 


Analytics Click to get info

Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics to collect information about how people are using our website - what information they look at, how they use a web page, how long they spend on the site, etc.

This information is only processed in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make, and do not allow Google to make, any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website.

If we do want to collect personally identifiable information through our website, we will be up front about this. We will make it clear when we collect personal information and will explain what we intend to do with it.


We use Hotjar in order to better understand our users’ needs and to find ways to improve our website.
Hotjar helps us better understand our users experience (e.g. how much time they spend on which pages, which links they click on, what users do and don’t like, etc.) and this enables us to build and maintain our service based on user feedback.

Hotjar uses cookies and other technologies to collect information on our users’ behaviour:

  • IP address (captured and stored only in anonymized form)
  • Device screen size
  • Device type (unique device identifiers)
  • Browser information
  • The country you are in

Hotjar stores this information in a pseudonymized user profile. Neither Hotjar nor we will ever use this information to identify individual users or to match it with further data on an individual user.

For further details, please see Hotjar’s privacy policy .

You can opt-out to the creation of a user profile, Hotjar’s storing of data about your usage of our site and Hotjar’s use of tracking cookies on other websites by following this opt-out link.

Cookies Click to get info

Upon visiting our website, cookies are used to collect information about website usage. Cookies are also set when you:

  • click on social networking buttons in our pages such as Facebook and Twitter
  • watch videos
  • register for services
  • take part in online surveys

Find out more about the cookies used on this website.

We always acts upon your choices around what type of communications you want to receive and how you want to receive them.  Where you have signed up for one of our newsletters, we will seek your consent as well as use email newsletters to inform you of what we’re doing, news and events.

Tools may be used to help us improve the effectiveness of our communications with you, including tracking whether the emails we send are opened and which links are clicked within a message.  This helps us to improve and refine future email marketing around our campaigns and make sure all our emails are relevant and useful as possible.

You have a choice about whether or not you wish to receive information from us. 

Granicus will be used for storing details about consent and marketing materials, see this link for Granicus’ own privacy policy

We use GovMetric to gather feedback on the services we provide to customer so we can learn from the issues people are having with our services so that we can improve them.

View GovMetric's privacy policy.

We use SurveyMonkey for our customer surveys.  Our corporate license ensures that we retain ownership of the data.

View SurveyMonkey’s privacy policy

Web chat Click to get info

We use Click4Assistance to supply and support our web chat service, which we use to handle customer enquiries in real time.

If you use web chat we will collect your name, email address (optional) and the contents of your chat session.

You can request a copy of your chat session if you provide your email address at the start of your session or when prompted at the end.

See Click4Assistance's own privacy policy.

Business intelligence Click to get info

We may analyse your personal information to improve services and for the following purposes:

  • undertake statutory functions efficiently and effectively
  • service planning by understanding your needs to provide the services that you request
  • understanding what we can do for you and inform you of other relevant services and benefits
  • help us to build up a picture of how we are performing at delivering services to you and what services the people of Waltham Forest need
  • analysis of costs and spend of services we provide so that we can ensure better and efficient use of public funds
  • evaluating, monitoring health of the Waltham Forest population and protecting and improving public health

We are committed to using pseudonymised or anonymised information as much as is practical, and in many cases this will be the default position.

Pseudonymisation is a procedure by which the most identifying fields within a data record are replaced by one or more artificial identifiers, or pseudonyms. There can be a single pseudonym for a collection of replaced fields or a pseudonym per replaced field.

Anonymisation is the process of removing identifying particulars or details from (something, especially medical test results) for statistical or other purposes.

Profiling means any form of automated processing of personal data consisting of the use of personal data to evaluate certain personal aspects relating to a person, to analyse or predict aspects concerning that person’s economic and health situation, reliability, personal preferences and interests etc.

Automated-decision making means any processing that is carried out by automated means without any human review element in the decision-making.  For example; carrying out credit checks searches to detect and reduce fraud.

We may use your information from the different services that you engage with to create a single view and profile of you, which will help us to better understand your specific needs and ensure we are providing the right and efficient services to you in accordance with your needs as well as ensure that we hold one accurate record of your basic personal data across all our council services; such as your name, date of birth, address, email address, change in circumstances etc.

Profiling will be carried out only when it is necessary in order to provide you with the service you have agreed to receive or where we have a statutory obligation or where to the law allows. However, we will notify you where we would do this and where required we will seek your consent.

Any information held by us about individuals is held securely and in compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018, and the UK GDPR.

We are committed to protecting its service user’s personal data.  We have put measures in place to ensure that our staff, service providers, partners and suppliers all protect your information in line with good practice and the law. These follow the rules and practices known as Information Governance (IG).

The information security measures we've put in place include:

  • following good Information Governance practice and the law when it comes to collecting, handling and giving access to information
  • training staff in their data protection responsibilities
  • putting processes in place to ensure good Information Governance practices for information we collect, hold or handle in both manual and electronic forms
  • access to your information is only given to those who need to know and where it is necessary
  • information will not be held for longer than required and will be disposed of securely
  • we encrypt all our electronic devices and sensitive information that is transmitted.

Under the UK GDPR you have the right to ask us to:

  • send you a copy of the data we hold about you (called a Subject Access Request)
  • erase your data (Subject Erasure Request)
  • transfer your data (Subject Portability Request)
  • correct your data (called a Subject Rectification Request)
  • limit the use of your data (called a Subject Processing Restriction Request)
  • stop using your data (called a Subject Processing Objection)

These rights are not absolute and are dependent on conditions and exemptions. For example, you may not be able to object to the processing of your data where we have a duty to safeguard a vulnerable adult or a child, or the prevention and detection of crime, or where we are required to fulfil our statutory obligations. 

You can notify us that you wish to exercise any of these rights through the self-service portal on the Your Data Rights Page or by writing to:

The Information Officer
Waltham Forest Town Hall
Forest Road
E17 4JF


The Information Commissioner is the UK's independent body set up to uphold information rights.

If you would like to know more about your rights under the Data Protection law, and what you should expect from us, visit the Information Commissioner’s website.

If you have any concerns regarding our privacy practices or about exercising your Data Protection rights, you may contact the Information Commissioner’s Office:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Tel: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545 745 

Changes to our privacy policy 

The terms of this Privacy Notice may change, so please recheck periodically. This statement was last updated February 2021.