Information about what personal information might be held, what a data protection request is, who can use the service, is there a cost, how to apply, enquiring about someone who has died, getting copies of everything held about you, is information limited for each request, what the council's obligations are, what if you find incorredct data, what is information is missing and help in understanding the information.
The council holds a range of personal information on its residents that it uses to carry out its work.
We keep personal information so that we can provide you with the services you require, collect the council tax, collect rent, calculate housing benefits, and provide other services you may need from us. It also allows us to maintain a record of the services you have requested. Your personal details are a vitally important part of making sure that we deliver effective and efficient services to you.
The Data Protection Act 1998 is a law that came into force on 1 March 2000. It was introduced to protect personal data, that is data about living identifiable individuals, no matter how it is processed, what it is processed for or who processes it.
The act covers data held on computers and manually processed records.
The act specifies rules and conditions which all users (the act calls us “Controllers”) of personal information must obey when obtaining and using information about you. This includes East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
Under Data Protection legislation, members of the public can:
A subject access request (SAR) /data protection request is a request made by anyone to see personal information held about them by the council. For the request to be valid a fee of £10 and identification is needed. Once the request is valid, the council have 40 days to process the request and provide the information to the individual. If the request takes longer than this to process it is a breach of the Data Protection Act.
Anyone can request access to their personal information held on file. If information is requested about someone else, written consent from that person would be required.
Everyone has a right of access to their personal information, including children. However, as young children may not understand this right or are not capable of exercising this right, in some cases their parents may do so on their behalf.
There is no particular age when a child becomes capable of exercising his or her own data protection rights. Rather, the council must assess the child’s maturity and level of understanding when determining whether a parent should be making a request on the child’s behalf. To do this, the council may have to contact you to obtain further information.
As a general guide, a child of 12 and above is likely to have sufficient maturity but as stated, this will depend on the individual circumstances.
The council needs to be very careful about the disclosure of children’s personal information. If the council is in any doubt as to whether the parent or guardian is entitled to make a request on their child or ward’s behalf, then the council may refuse to grant access.
You can only request someone else's information if you have their written consent to do so or have a legal form of authority (such as power of attorney) to act on their behalf.
You may have a representative to act on your behalf when making a subject access request, such as, a solicitor, financial adviser, doctor, carer or family member.
In this case, the council must be satisfied that you have consented to this arrangement so we ask your representative (and, in some cases, you) to demonstrate this by providing proof of your identity and your signature.
You need to apply in writing - either filling in the form available below:
Data Protection Request form (pdf 90kb opens in new window)
or by letter:
Data Protection Coordinator East Riding of Yorkshire Council County Hall Beverley HU17 9BA or by email:
To accompany the request we will need a £10 fee (cheque made payable to ‘East Riding of Yorkshire Council’ or postal order) and proof of identity and address. The proof of identity will often be a passport, driving licence with photograph, or birth certificate, the proof of address needs to be a bank statement or bill dated in the last three months where the address is the same that you wish the information to be sent to. You can either send a photocopy in the post or take it in person to any of our customer service centre, where staff will take a copy, sign to verify that it has been seen and return to you. You can also pay your fee and submit your request form or letter at the same time.
If possible, please complete the above form and send with your payment (and copies of you identity and proof of address as above) to us (postal address is included in the form). Completing this form is not essential, but it does help us to deal with your request more swiftly.
The council makes a £10 charge per request, payable in advance.
You cannot make a subject access request/ data protection request about someone who has died as the Data Protection Act only applies to living individuals. You can still make a request for information on someone who has died under the Freedom of Information Act.
In most cases you will be supplied with all the information you have requested (as long as it is held by the council and does not include third party information). Sometimes it may be necessary to summarise information so as not to disclose third party information. There are other circumstances where information can be withheld for example if it would put at risk a criminal investigation or catching an offender. In all cases it will be made clear to you if information has not been released and for what reason.
If ‘disproportionate effort’ (e.g. costly, takes a long time, difficult to retrieve information) is required to fulfil your request then you may not receive all the information you have asked for as a written copy.
To avoid such situations, it is advisable to limit your request to a single council area of business e.g. children's services, adult services, human resources etc. Larger requests can be submitted, but may be split and each charged £10. We would advise you at the point of receipt if this would be the case.
You must write to the council telling us what data is incorrect and asking for the data to be corrected. The council must tell you what it has done within 21 days of receiving your request. If the council does not agree that the information is incorrect you can ask it to record your disagreement on your records.
You can appeal to the council through its appeals procedure. Alternatively, you can appeal to the Data Protection Commissioner who will look into the matter on your behalf.
If you do not want us to use your personal details for direct marketing, you should write to us at the address shown on this page asking us not to allow this.
If you think that the use of your personal data could cause you damage or distress you should write to us and explain how we are causing you possible distress or damage, so that we can take any necessary steps to stop this happening.
The Act requires us to respond no later than 21 days after we have received your request. If we do not do so, or refuse to do as you ask, you can appeal to the court.
You can contact the Data Protection Co-ordinator within the council by:
phone: (01482) 391419
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A translationservice is also available. Requests for assistance can be made at any of the council's customer service centres.
You can also get further information about the Act, and about your rights, by contacting the Information Commissioner:
Information Commissioners Office (external website)
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the United Kingdom's independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. If you think we have failed to comply with the legislation then you can contact the them using the details below.
Wycliffe House Water Lane Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF
ICO helpline: 0303 123 1113 or (01625) 545745
or by visiting their website: Information Commissioners Office (external website)