Data protection policy
Context and overview
• Policy prepared by: Andrew Mackie and Nicola Kelly
• Approved by board / management on: 05/03/2018
• Policy became operational on: 01/05/2018
• Next review date: 01/03/2019
Enhance Consultancy Limited 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 Enhance Consultancy;
• 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 describes how organisations — including E— 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
2. Be obtained only for specific, lawful purposes
3. Be adequate, relevant and not excessive
4. Be accurate and kept up to date
5. Not be held for any longer than necessary
6. Processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects
7. Be protected in appropriate ways
8. Not be transferred outside the European Economic Area (EEA), unless that country or territory also ensures an adequate level of protection
This policy applies no matter how the data is stored; electronically as text, documents, images or in tables, on paper or on other materials.
To comply with the law, personal data must only be collected and used fairly, stored safely and not disclosed unlawfully.
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
This policy applies to all our staff at Enhance Consultancy Ltd. It applies to all the personal data that we process.
People, risks and responsibilities
This policy applies to:
• The head office of Enhance Consultancy
• All branches of Enhance Consultancy
• All staff and volunteers of Enhance Consultancy
• All contractors, suppliers and other people working on behalf of Enhance Consultancy
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. This can include:
- Names of individuals
• Postal addresses
• Email addresses
• Telephone numbers
• …plus any other information relating to individuals
Data protection risks
This policy helps to protect Enhance Consultancy 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 Enhance Consultancy has shared responsibility for ensuring data is collected, stored and handled appropriately. Each person that handles personal data in this organisation must ensure that it is handled and processed in line with this policy and data protection principles. Some people have key responsibilities:
The Data Protection Officer is responsible for: Keeping all staff informed about data protection responsibilities, risks and issues, where necessary pre-emptively. Providing advice to the data controllers when requested. Advising on the need for and generation of DPIAs. Reviewing all data processing procedures, practices and policies as well as this policy on an annual basis. Arranging appropriate and relevant in-house training for the people covered by this policy. Keeping herself up to date to an appropriate standard in all matters relevant to her role. Remaining independent and impartial and ensuring that any conflicts are reported to the Data Controller. Handling data protection questions from staff and anyone else covered by this policy. Acting as the point of contact for data subjects. Dealing with requests from data subjects relating to their rights under GDPR including ensuring there is a compliant SAR and TSAR process. Acting as the interface to the ICO.
The Data Controller(s) will ensure that the DPO has an environment in which the DPO can operate independently and without limitation. They will also involve the DPO in all relevant issues, provide support and resources for the DPO to carry out the tasks noted in this policy, including training and knowledge updating. They will not issue the DPO with any instructions or place any constraints relating to their DPO role. They will allow data subjects to access the DPO. Not allow the DPO to be conflicted by other tasks, jobs or responsibilities that they may have.
However, these people have key areas of responsibility:
• The board of directors is ultimately responsible for ensuring that Enhance Consultancy meets its legal obligations.
• The Data Protection Officer/Director, Nicola Kelly, is responsible for:
o Keeping the board updated about data protection responsibilities, risks and issues.
o Reviewing all data protection procedures and related policies, in line with an agreed schedule.
o Arranging data protection training and advice for the people covered by this policy.
o Handling data protection questions from staff and anyone else covered by this policy.
o Dealing with requests from individuals to see the data Enhance Consultancy holds about them (also called ‘subject access requests’).
o Checking and approving any contracts or agreements with third parties that may handle the company’s sensitive data.
• The IT Manager, Andrew Mackie, is responsible for:
o Ensuring all systems, services and equipment used for storing data meet acceptable security standards.
o Performing regular checks and scans to ensure security hardware and software is functioning properly.
o Evaluating any third-party services the company is considering using to store or process data. For instance, cloud computing services.
• The Managing Director, Andrew Mackie, is responsible for:
o Approving any data protection statements attached to communications such as emails and letters.
o Addressing any data protection queries from journalists or media outlets like newspapers.
o Where necessary, working with other staff to ensure marketing initiatives abide by data protection principles.
General staff guidelines
The company 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 company’s procedures and policies. Passwords and logins must be used whenever possible and they should never be shared or borrowed. Whenever a screen is left programs that handle client data should be closed. Personal data should not be disclosed to unauthorised people, either within the company or externally. Employees should request help from the Data Protection Officer or the Data Controller if they are unsure about any aspect of data protection. All employees will have a privacy and data protection clause added to their contracts.
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:
• When not required, the paper or files should be kept in a locked drawer or filing cabinet.
• Employees should make sure paper and printouts are not left where unauthorised people could see them, like on a printer.
• Data printouts should be shredded and disposed of securely when no longer required.
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.
• Servers containing personal data should be sited in a secure location, away from general office space.
• 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 Enhance Consultancy 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 not be shared informally. In particular, it should never be sent by email, as this form of communication is not secure.
• Data must be encrypted before being transferred electronically. The IT manager can explain how to send data to authorised external contacts.
• 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 Enhance Consultancy 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 Enhance Consultancy 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. For instance, by confirming a customer’s details when they call.
• [Company name] will make it easy for data subjects to update the information [company name] 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 Enhance Consultancy 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.