The Landbased Engineering Training and Education committee (LE-TEC) Ltd. needs to gather and use certain information about individuals. Individuals can include those registered on the LE-TEC Ltd. database, 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 LE-TEC Ltd. data protection standards and to comply with the law.
2. Why this policy exists
This data protection policy ensures that LE-TEC Ltd.
- Complies with data protection law and follows good practice
- Protects the rights of staff, appointed administrators, those registered on the LE-TEC Ltd. database and suppliers
- Is open about how it stores and processes individuals’ data
- Protects itself from the risk of a data breach
3. Data protection law
The Data Protection Act 1998 describes how organisations, including LE-TEC Ltd. 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 principals. 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 to be held for any longer than necessary
- Be processed in accordance with the rights of the data subjects
- Be protected in appropriate ways
- Not to be transferred outside the European Economic Area (EEA), unless that country or territory also ensures an adequate level of protection.
4. Policy Scope
This policy applies to:
- The head office of LE-TEC Ltd
- All staff and volunteers/consultants of LE-TEC Ltd.
- All contractors (including administrators), suppliers and other people working on behalf of LE-TEC Ltd.
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
5. Data protection risks
This policy helps to protect LE-TEC Ltd. 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, there could be damage suffered if hackers successfully gained access to sensitive data.
Everyone who works for or with LE-TEC Ltd. has some responsibility for ensuring data is collected, stored and handled appropriately. Each member of staff or appointed administrator 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 LE-TEC Ltd. Board is ultimately responsible for ensuring that LE-TEC Ltd. meets its legal obligations.
- The LE-TEC Directors are responsible for:
- Keeping the LE-TEC Ltd. Members, Management and Committees updated about data protection responsibilities, risks and issues.
- Reviewing all data protection procedures and related policies, in line with an agreed schedule.
- Arranging data protection training and advice for the people covered in this policy.
- Handling data protection questions from staff and anyone else covered by this policy.
- Dealing with requests from individuals to see the data LE-TEC Ltd. 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 Administration provider 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.
7. General administration and 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, Directors can request it from the Administrators.
- LE-TEC Ltd will ensure the appointed Administration provide training to all their employees to help them understand their responsibilities when handling data.
- Administrators should keep all data secure, by taking sensible precautions and following the guidelines below.
- Strong passwords must be used, and they should never be shared.
- Personal data must never be disclosed to unauthorized 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.
- Administrators should request help from a LE-TEC Ltd. Board Member if they are unsure about any aspect of data protection.
8. Data storage
These rules describe how and where data should be safely stored.
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 office or filing cabinet.
- Administrators should make sure paper printouts are not left where unauthorised people could see them, like on a printer.
- Data printouts should be shredded or 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, these should be kept locked away securely when not being used.
- Data should only be stored on designated drives and servers.
- 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.
9. Data Use
Personal data is of no value to LE-TEC Ltd. unless the organisation can make use of it. When personal data is accessed and used, LE-TEC Ltd. recognise that it can be at the greatest risk of loss, corruption or theft:
- When working with personal data, administrators 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.
- Personal data should never be transferred outside of the European Economic Area.
- Administrators should not save copies of personal data to their own computers. Always access and update the central copy of any data.
10. Data Accuracy
The law requires LE-TEC Ltd. 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 LE-TEC Ltd. should put into ensuring its accuracy. It is the responsibility of all LE-TEC Ltd. appointed administrators 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. Administrators should not create any unnecessary additional data sets.
- Administrators should take every opportunity to ensure data is updated. For instance, by confirming a customer’s details when they call.
- LE-TEC Ltd. will make it easy for data subjects to update the information LE-TEC Ltd. holds about them. For instance, via the company website.
- Data should be updated as soon as inaccuracies are discovered. For instance, if a customer can no longer be reached on their store telephone number, it should be removed from the database.
11. Subject access requests
All individuals who are the subject of personal data held by LE-TEC Ltd. 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 obligation.
If some individual contacts the company requesting this information, this is called a subject access request.
Subject access requests from individuals should be made by letter, addressed to the LE-TEC Ltd. Board of Directors at Samuelson House, 62 Forder Way, Peterborough, PE7 8JB. The data controller can supply a standard request form, although individuals do not have to use this.
The Board of Directors will always verify the identity of anyone making a subject access request before handing over any information.
12. Disclosing data for other reasons
In certain circumstances, the Data Protection Act allows personal data to be disclosed to law enforcement agencies without the consent of the data subject.
Under these circumstances, LE-TEC Ltd. will disclose requested data. However, the LE-TEC Board of Directors will ensure the request is legitimate, seeking assistance from the company’s legal advisers were necessary.
13. Providing information
LE-TEC ltd. 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.
14. Other Relevant Information and Policy
- Data Security Breach Policy
- Password Policy
- Computer Security Policy
- Data Protection Policy