As a local Councillor on the City and County of Swansea I take data protection very seriously. This is the policy I will apply whenever anybody approaches me for help, assistance and/or advice.
Understanding the role of Swansea Councillors
Your Councillor is an elected member of Swansea Council, which is a democratically-elected local authority providing a range of statutory and non-statutory services for its residents. Swansea Council consists of 72 councillors representing 36 electoral wards and your Councillor is one of these. All councillors hold office for a fixed term following local elections which are held every five years.
The address for correspondence with your Councillor is displayed on the Swansea Council website at https://www.swansea.gov.uk/Councillors where you can also find more information about how Swansea Council’s democracy works.
For the purposes of the General Data Protection Regulation 2016, your Councillor is a designated data controller.As a data controller, your Councillor must comply with all relevant legislation relating to data protection.
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is the supervisory authority in the United Kingdom established to ensure that your data rights are upheld and your Councillor is responsible to this body for ensuring that all the personal data you provide to him or her is processed and controlled in a fair and lawful manner.
Understanding how your Councillor collects and uses the personal details which you provide to him or her
Among other tasks, your Councillor is tasked with providing advice and assistance on a range of issues to residents in the electoral ward s/he represents.
In order to provide you with this assistance, your Councillorwill need to collect and store your name, address and other contact details alongside other information about your particular situation. Some of the information you provide may be sensitive personal information, about such matters as your health or financial position. Your Councillor will only collect and record the personal information that is necessary to carry out the task that you have asked him or her to assist with.
The original source of all the information that the Councillor will hold on you is what you have provided yourself when you approached him or her with your request for assistance. You may give consent for your Councillor to obtain further personal information from Council officers on your behalf to assist your case, but this will only be done where you have provided your explicit consent.
Your Councillor is obliged under data protection law to treat all the data you provide to him or her, along with all other information that s/he obtains from other sources such as Council officers, with utmost confidence and not to reveal any of it to anybody else, except in order to pursue your case. This is particularly so where you have provided sensitive personal information in the course of your dealings with him or her.
Understanding how long your Councillor keeps your personal information and the legal basis for doing so
Your Councillor will keep the personal information you provide (and any further information from Council officers relating to your case) for as long as your issue is active, which is a matter of judgement on their part, based on their knowledge and experience of working on behalf of residents.
All the personal information that you provide to your Councillor is based on your consent for him or her to collect, store anduse it in order to pursue your case.If you change your mind, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time and request that your Councillor deletes any personal information that s/he holds on you.
Your other privacy rights
Thepersonal information provided by you is stored securely by your Councillor for the purposes described above and is not routinely shared with anybody else, unless you have given your consent for it to be shared with Council officers (or occasionally other parties) in order to pursue your case.
Where you believe the personal information your Councillor holds is inaccurate, for example where your contact details have changed, you have the right to demand the immediate rectification of any inaccurate data.
You have the right to request that your Councillor provides you with a full copy of any personal information that s/he holds on you, which s/he is obliged to provide to you within one calendar month free of charge. Where information derives from sources other than yourself, for example information received from Council officers as part of your Councillor’s investigation of your case, such personal information will be subject to the qualifications on disclosure contained in the Data Protection Act.
If you have cause for complaint
If you believe your Councillor has acted inappropriately with your personal information, in the first instance we would ask that you try to resolve the matter with your Councillor directly. However, we recognise that this is not always possible and here provide information about other bodies you may turn to in order to resolve your complaint.
If you are unable to resolve the matter directly with your Councillor, you can make a complaint about his or her conduct to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales by visiting the website www.ombudsman-wales.org.uk/ from where you can download the Ombudsman’s standard complaint form.
If you believe your confidential personal data has been breached, or shared inappropriately with others, you can refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office Wales https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/who-we-are/wales-office/