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Privacy & Data Protection Policy

At Citizens Advice Hounslow 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

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 our main Citizens Advice policy for how we handle most of your personal information.

Your personal information When you provide Hounslow Citizens Advice Bureaux Service with personal information, we take steps to ensure that your information is treated securely from the time we receive it. Hounslow Citizens Advice Bureaux Service makes every effort to ensure the security and integrity of emails on our systems. Unfortunately, no data transmission over the internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, while we strive to protect your personal information after we’ve received it, Hounslow Citizens Advice Bureaux Service cannot ensure or guarantee the security of information when it is being transmitted.

Note: This privacy policy only covers the website www.hounslowcabs.org.uk; other websites linked from this website are not covered by this policy. Once you have accessed another website via one of our links you will be subject to the security and privacy policy of that site.

The Citizens Advice service is committed to safeguarding your privacy, while providing a high quality of service. The Citizens Advice service will treat your personal information as confidential and your details will not be given or sold to anyone. We will use the information collected online to help us understand more about how our site is used by visitors, and to develop and enhance our services to you.

When we ask you for personal information, we promise to:

  • make sure you know why we need it
  • only access it when we have a good reason
  • only share what is necessary and relevant
  • don’t sell it to anyone

We, or an organisation working with Hounslow Citizens Advice Bureaux Service, may wish to contact you in future to find out what you thought of the service you received or for research purposes. This helps us to improve the service for others. In order to do this, we will ask for your permission to transfer your details for this purpose. If you do not wish to participate, you can specify that you do not wish to be contacted. Whichever option you choose will not alter the service and advice you receive.

If you give consent when asked, you are agreeing that Hounslow Citizens Advice Bureaux Service may:

  • refer you to other advice providers
  • make appointments with other advice providers
  • share your personal information with other advice providers so that they have initial information about you and your possible problems
  • share your personal information with another organisation or another part of Citizens Advice so they can contact you about your experience of using a Citizens Advice Bureau
  • share your personal information with another organisation or another part of Citizens Advice for research purposes.

We will ensure that if your information is shared with another organisation, this is only done with your permission. We’ll use the ICO Data Sharing Code of Practice when we share information to ensure the other organisation treats your information with the same level of care as us. We do not sell personal information about clients or correspondents to commercial organisations.

We provide training to staff who handle personal information and respond appropriately if personal information is not used or protected properly.

In return, we ask you to give us accurate information; and tell us as soon as possible anything changes, which may affect the information we hold.

If you’re unhappy with how we hold your data, you can contact your local bureau manager who will explain our complaints procedure.