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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 or Test and Trace in Wales on GOV.WALES.
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 General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018.
You can check national Citizens Advice policy for how we handle most of your personal information.
This page covers how we, as your local charity, handle your information locally in our offices.
How we handle your personal information depends on how you interact with us.
If you have any questions about how your information is collected or used, you can contact Citizen Advice County Durham.
Switchboard: 0300 323 1000, Monday to Thursday 9am-5pm and Friday 9am-4:30pm or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can contact us to:
- Find out what personal information we hold about you
- Correct your information if it’s wrong , out of date of 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 to stop using your information
The National Citizens Advice charity and your local Citizens Advice (Citizens Advice County Durham) operate a system called casebook to keep your personal information safe. This means they’re ‘joint data controller’ for your personal information that’s stored in our Casebook system.
Each local Citizens Advice is an independent charity, and a member of the national Citizens Advice charity. The Citizens Advice membership agreement also requires that the use of your information complies with data protection law.
If you want to make a complaint
If you’re not happy with how we’ve handled your data, you can make a complaint.