At Citizens Advice we collect and use your personal information to help solve your problems, improve our services and tackle wider issues in society that affect people’s lives.
We only ask for the information we need. We always let you decide what you’re comfortable telling us, explain why we need it and treat it as confidential.
When we record and use your personal information we:
- only access it when we have a good reason
- only share what is necessary and relevant
- don’t sell it to anyone
We collect and use the details you give us so we can help you. We have a ‘legitimate interest’ to do this under data protection law. This means it lets us carry out our aims and goals as an organisation. We’ll always explain how we use your information.
Coronavirus: Test and Trace if you get advice in person
If you get advice in person we’ll ask for your:
- email address or telephone number
We’ll keep this information in our secure case management system.
We might be asked to share your name, contact details and the date of your visit with Test and Trace or local public health organisations. This is to help track cases of coronavirus. They might contact you if they think you’re at risk after your visit. For example because someone getting advice at the same time has tested positive for coronavirus. You can find out more about Test and Trace in England on GOV.UK.
We’ll never share information about the reason for your visit.
If you can’t give contact details, for example if it’s not safe for you to do so, we’ll still be able to give you advice in person.
Unlike most situations, we won’t ask for your consent before we share your contact details. If you don’t want us to share this information you can tell your local office you want to opt out.
We’re doing this to help keep you and the public safe, This is a ‘legitimate interest’ of Citizens Advice.
We won’t share your contact details with anyone other than Test and Trace or a local public health organisation.
If we share your information we’ll let you know, and offer further support.
If you want to know more about changes to our face to face services or how your information will be used, please contact your local office.
At times we might use or share your information without your permission. If we do, we’ll always make sure there’s a legal basis for it. This could include situations where we have to use or share your information:
- to comply with the law – for example, if a court orders us to share information. This is called ‘legal obligation’;
- to protect someone’s life – for example, sharing information with a paramedic if a client was unwell at our office. This is called ‘vital interests’;
- to carry out our legitimate aims and goals as a charity – for example, to create statistics for our national research. This is called ‘legitimate interests’;
- for us to carry out a task where we’re meeting the aims of a public body in the public interest – for example, delivering a government or local authority service. This is called ‘public task’;
- to carry out a contract we have with you – for example, if you’re an employee we might need to store your bank details so we can pay you. This is called ‘contract’;
- to defend our legal rights – for example, sharing information with our legal advisors if there was a complaint that we gave the wrong advice.
We handle and store your personal information in line with the law – including the UK General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018.
Each local Citizens Advice is an independent charity, and a member of the national Citizens Advice charity. The Citizens Advice membership agreement requires that the use of your information complies with data protection law.
You can check the main Citizens Advice policy for full details of how we handle personal information.
How we apply key aspects of that policy locally in our offices is outlined below.
Working on your behalf
When we advise you as our client, for example to help you with a benefit claim or housing problem, we will ask you to you give us authority to act on your behalf and that will be our role. We will need to ask you for information and that information will be held in confidence. However, there are circumstances in which, with your permission, we will need to share your information with third parties, for example to help solve your problem or to refer you quickly to another organisation for help which we are not equipped to give. And If something you’ve told us makes us think you or someone you know might be at serious risk of harm, we may have tell the police or social services.
Who’s responsible for looking after your personal information
The national Citizens Advice charity and your local CA Bucks operate a system called Casebook to keep clients’ personal information safe. This means they’re a ‘joint data controller’ for your personal information that’s stored in our Casebook system.
Information about people who are not clients
CA Bucks also holds confidential personal information about people who are not Clients, for example on its volunteers, including trustees, and staff and contact details for its suppliers.
This information also is held in compliance with the law – including the UK General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018. However it is not held on the Casebook system but in the paper and computer records of CA Bucks; computer records increasingly are being moved from CA Bucks servers to Microsoft cloud facilities.
CA Bucks is the data controller in relation to this information
Contact Citizens Advice Buckinghamshire about your information
Anyone who thinks that CA Bucks holds personal information about them and has any questions about how that information is collected or used, can contact us to:
- find out what personal information we hold about you,
- correct your information if it’s wrong, out of date or incomplete,
- request we delete your information,
- ask us to limit what we do with your data – for example, ask us not to share it if you haven’t asked us already,
- ask us to give you a copy of the data we hold in a format you can use to transfer it to another service,
- ask us stop using your information.