Context and overview
- Policy prepared by Simon Starkey.
- Approved by board / management on: 10/10/17.
- Policy became operational on: 10/10/17
- Next review date: 10/10/18
Approved Building Control needs to gather and use certain information about individuals. These can include customers, suppliers, business contacts, employees and other people the organisation has a relationship with or may need to contact. This policy describes how this personal data must be collected, handled and stored to meet the company’s data protection standards — and to comply with the law.
Why this policy exists
This data protection policy ensures Approved Building Control:
- Complies with data protection law and follow good practice
- Protects the rights of staff, customers and partners
- Is open about how it stores and processes individuals’ data
- Protects itself from the risks of a data breach
Data protection law
The Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulations describes how organisations — including Approved Building Control— must collect, handle and store personal information.
These rules apply regardless of whether data is stored electronically, on paper or on other materials.
To comply with the law, personal information must be collected and used fairly, stored safely and not disclosed unlawfully.
The Data Protection Act is underpinned by eight important principles. These say that personal data must:
- Be processed fairly and lawfully
- Be obtained only for specific, lawful purposes
- Be adequate, relevant and not excessive
- Be accurate and kept up to date
- Not be held for any longer than necessary
- Processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects
- Be protected in appropriate ways
- Not be transferred outside the European Economic Area (EEA), unless that country or territory also ensures an adequate level of protection
Approved Building Control will keep and process limited date in accordance with the requirements of the Building Act 1984 the Building Regulations 2010 and the Approved Inspectors regulations 2000. As required by this legislation this data will be kept for a minimum of 15 years.
People, risks and responsibilities Policy scope
This policy applies to:
- The head office of Approved Building Control.
- All staff and volunteers of Approved Building Control
- All contractors, suppliers and other people working on behalf of Approved Building Control.
It applies to all data that the company holds relating to identifiable individuals, even if that information technically falls outside of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation. This can include:
- Names of individuals
- Postal addresses
- Email addresses
- Telephone numbers
- Details of construction work carried out at applicants properties.
Data protection risks
This policy helps to protect Approved Building Control from some very real data security risks, including:
- Breaches of confidentiality. For instance, information being given out inappropriately.
- Failing to offer choice. For instance, all individuals should be free to choose how the company uses data relating to them.
- Reputational damage. For instance, the company could suffer if hackers successfully gained access to sensitive data.
Everyone who works for or with Approved Building Control has some responsibility for ensuring data is collected, stored and handled appropriately. Each team that handles personal data must ensure that it is handled and processed in line with this policy and data protection principles.
However, these people have key areas of responsibility:
- The board of directors is ultimately responsible for ensuring that meets its legal obligations.
The data protection officer, Simon Starkey, is responsible for:
- Keeping the board updated about data protection responsibilities, risks and issues.
- Reviewing all data protection procedures and related policies, in line with an agreed schedule.
- Dealing with requests from individuals to see the data Approved Building Control holds about them (also called ‘subject access requests’).
- Checking and approving any contracts or agreements with third parties that may handle the company’s sensitive data.
The IT manager, Simon Betteridge is responsible for:
- Ensuring all systems, services and equipment used for storing data meet acceptable security standards.
- Performing regular checks and scans to ensure security hardware and software is functioning properly.
- Evaluating any third-party services the company is considering using to store or process data. For instance, cloud computing services.
The marketing manager, Joe Barnett is responsible for:
- Approving any data protection statements attached to communications such as emails and letters.
- Addressing any data protection queries from journalists or media outlets like newspapers.
- Where necessary, working with other staff to ensure marketing initiatives abide by data protection principles.
General Staff Guidelines
- The only people able to access data covered by this policy should be those who need it for their work.
- Data should not be shared informally. When access to confidential information is required, employees can request it from their line managers.
- Approved Building Control will provide training to all employees to help them understand their responsibilities when handling data.
- Employees should keep all data secure, by taking sensible precautions and following the guidelines below.
- In particular, strong passwords must be used and they should never be shared.
- Personal data should not be disclosed to unauthorised people, either within the company or externally.
- Data should be regularly reviewed and updated if it is found to be out of date. If no longer required, it should be deleted and disposed of.
- Employees should request help from their line manager or the data protection officer if they are unsure about any aspect of data protection.
These rules describe how and where data should be safely stored. Questions about storing data safely can be directed to the IT manager or data controller.
When data is stored on paper, it should be kept in a secure place where unauthorised people cannot see it.
These guidelines also apply to data that is usually stored electronically but has been printed out for some reason:
Approved Building Control operate a paperless environment all paper or files are scanned and stored on the secure server. Data printouts will be shredded and disposed of securely when no longer required.
- Employees should make sure paper and printouts are not left where unauthorised people could see them, like on a printer.
- When data is stored electronically, it must be protected from unauthorised access, accidental deletion and malicious hacking attempts.
- Data should be protected by strong passwords that are changed regularly and never shared between employees.
- If data is stored on removable media (like a CD or DVD), these should be kept locked away securely when not being used.
- Data should only be stored on designated drives and servers, and should only be uploaded to an approved cloud computing services.
- Data should be backed up frequently. Those backups should be tested regularly, in line with the company’s standard backup procedures.
- Data should never be saved directly to laptops or other mobile devices like tablets or smart phones.
- All servers and computers containing data should be protected by approved security software and a firewall.
Personal data is of no value to Approved Building Control unless the business can make use of it. However ,it is when personal data is accessed and used that it can be at the greatest risk of loss , Corruption or theft:
- When working with personal data, employees should ensure the screens of their computers are always locked when left unattended.
- Personal data should never be transferred outside of the European Economic Area.
- Employees should not save copies of personal data to their own computers. Always access and update the central copy of any data.
The law requires Approved Building Control to take reasonable steps to ensure data is kept accurate and up to date.
- The more important it is that the personal data is accurate, the greater the effort Approved Building Control should put into ensuring its accuracy.
- It is the responsibility of all employees who work with data to take reasonable steps to ensure it is kept as accurate and up to date as possible.
- Data will be held in as few places as necessary. Staff should not create any unnecessary additional data sets.
- Staff should take every opportunity to ensure data is updated.
- Approved Building Control will make it easy for data subjects to update the information Approved Building Control holds about them. For instance, via the company website.
- Data should be updated as inaccuracies are discovered. For instance, if a customer can no longer be reached on their stored telephone number, it should be removed from the database.
- It is the marketing manager’s responsibility to ensure marketing databases are checked against industry suppression files every six months.
Subject access requests
All individuals who are the subject of personal data held by Approved Building Control are entitled to:
- Ask what information the company holds about them and why.
- Ask how to gain access to it.
- Be informed how to keep it up to date.
- Be informed how the company is meeting its data protection obligations
- The right to erasure.
- The right to restrict processing
- The right to data portability
- The right to object and the right not to be subject to automated decision making including profiling.
If an individual contacts the company requesting this information, this is called a subject access request.
Subject access requests from individuals should be made by email, addressed to the data controller at firstname.lastname@example.org The data controller can supply a standard request form, although individuals do not have to use this.
The data controller will aim to provide the relevant data within 1 calendar month of request The data controller will always verify the identity of anyone making a subject access request before handing over any information.
Approved Building Control reserve the right to refuse requests for data that are unfounded, all individuals will be advised why and they do have the right to complain to the supervisory authority.
Disclosing /Sharing data
As required by the Building Act 1984 the Building Regulations 2010 and the Approved Inspectors regulations 2000 data will be shared with certain organisations and individuals. Approved Building Control may share data with:
- Local Authorities
- Local Fire Authorities
- Local Sewerage undertakers
- Client appointed architects and or builders if declared by client as “clients agent”.
- Consultants as appointed by Approved Building Control
Disclosing Data to other parties
In certain circumstances, the Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulation allows personal data to be disclosed to law enforcement agencies without the consent of the data subject.
Under these circumstances, Approved Building Control will disclose requested data. However, the data controller will ensure the request is legitimate, seeking assistance from the board and from the company’s legal advisers where necessary.
Approved Building Control aims to ensure that individuals are aware that their data is being processed, and that they understand:
- How the data is being used
- How to exercise their rights
To these ends, the company has a privacy statement, setting out how data relating to individuals is used by the company. This is available on request.
Approved Building Control will hold the following information:
- Name and address of client
- Phone number of client
- Email Address of client
- Details of work carried out at clients address
- Name and address of Agent
- Phone number of Agent
- Email Address of Agent
- Name and address of Builder
- Phone number of Builder
- Email Address of Builder
Information held by Approved Building Control is not high risk and could not result in discrimination, damage to reputation, financial loss or any other significant economic or social disadvantage.
That withstanding Approved Building Control will carry out an annual audit in order that any data breaches can be detected investigated and reported.
Data Protection Impact Assessments.
Approved Building Control have carried out a privacy impact assessment, due to the limited nature of the data kept a Data Protection Impact Assessment is not deemed necessary.