What is Data Protection?
The Council collects, stores, uses and shares a large amount of personal data every day in order to deliver our services. This is known as data processing, and to ensure your personal information is processed correctly, the Council must comply with data protection legislation. The Data Protection Act 1998 will be replaced by the General Data Protection Regulation, which has a direct effect on all EU member states, on 25 May 2018 - you can find out more details about the new regulation from the Information Commissioner's Office. A UK Data Protection Bill is also making its way through Parliament during 2018.
Data protection legislation controls how your personal information is used. The main principles are:
- We only collect information that we need
- We will keep your personal information secure
- We don't keep your information longer than necessary
- We tell you why we need your information, and what we will do with it
- The information we collect is accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date
- We don't use your information for any purpose other than what we tell you it is collected for (unless required to do so by law)
So what is personal data?
Personal data is information which can be used to identify you, such as your name, address, date of birth, unique identifiers (i.e. National Insurance number) and any other information which can identify a living individual. More sensitive types of data, known as "special category data" include information about race or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, trade union membership, health or sex life.
Data protection legislation provides certain rights to individuals. Some of these are:
- The right to be informed about how we collect and use your personal information (see privacy notices below for more details)
- the right to request information we hold about you. This is known as a subject access request, full details of how to make a request can be found below.
- the right to rectification - if we hold factually inaccurate or incomplete information about you, you can make a request to have this rectified.
There are other rights available in certain circumstances, such as the right to erasure, to restrict processing, to data portability and to object. These are not likely to apply to the processing of data by a local authority, however, you can find out more about these from the Information Commissioner's website.
If you wish to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you, this is known as a subject access request. The easiest way to do this is to complete our subject access request form. There is no charge for this, however, we may charge a "reasonable fee" in certain circumstances, such as if it is a request for further copies of the same information again.
Privacy information: The personal information you provide on this form will be used only for the purpose of processing your request for information. Please see the privacy notice if you would like any more details about what we will do with the information you provide.
We must provide your information to you as soon as possible, and at the latest within 1 month of receiving your request, although this timescale can be extended by up to 2 months where requests are complex or repeated.
Report a data protection concern
If you are concerned about what we do with your data, or believe something has gone wrong in relation to data protection, you can contact the Council’s Data Protection Officer.
Address: Iain Jackson, Governance and Risk Manager, Argyll and Bute Council, Governance and Law, Kilmory, Lochgilphead PA31 8RT.
Telephone: 01546 604188 or 01546 605522
If you are unhappy with how the Council has handled a complaint about data protection, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s office:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Telephone: 0303 123 1113
The Information Commissioner’s Office – Scotland
45 Melville Street, Edinburgh, EH3 7HL
Telephone: 0303 123 1115
You have the right to be informed about what information we collect about you, and what we will do with it. We use privacy notices for this purpose – every time you provide information about yourself to the Council, you should receive a privacy notice. You can see all the privacy notices in use by the Council here: