Trading Standards privacy notice

This notice explains what personal data (information) we hold about you, how we collect, how we use and may share information about you. We are required to give you this information under data protection law.

Who we are

Kent County Council (KCC) collects, uses and is responsible for certain personal information about you. When we do so we are regulated under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which applies across the European Union (including in the United Kingdom) and we are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal information for the purposes of those laws. Our Data Protection Officer is Benjamin Watts.

KCC Trading Standards service is responsible for creating and maintaining a safe and fair-trading environment where Kent businesses can operate and grow, and Kent consumers can engage in their economic activity with confidence.

Personal information we collect and use

Information collected by us

In order for us to provide our Trading Standards service, we collect the following personal information when you provide it to us, or when you provide it to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service when they pass it to us:

  • name
  • contact details including telephone numbers, email address, address and postcode
  • complaint information, which can include financial transaction data
  • business specific information and contact details.

How we use your personal information

We use your personal information to perform our statutory and discretionary services and comply with our statutory obligations; which include, but are not limited to:

  • providing advice and guidance to businesses
  • investigating complaints and recording actions taken
  • identifying emerging issues and threats to Kent
  • working with other enforcement agencies
  • working proactively to identify the issues causing the most harm and detriment in Kent
  • for purposes of public safety
  • fulfilling our safeguarding responsibilities for Kent residents
  • providing services to Kent businesses and Kent residents to promote fair trading
  • taking enforcement and legal action where necessary
  • performing our licensing functions
  • ensuring our staff are safe at work.

How long your personal data will be kept

We will hold your personal information for no longer than necessary in relation to the purposes for which it was collected – this period of time can change dependent on the applicable legislation.  All information will be kept in accordance with our retention schedules.

All personal information is held securely, and once it is no longer needed, is securely destroyed.

Reasons we can collect and use your personal information

The lawful basis on which we collect and use your personal data is that ‘processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation.’  All activities performed by KCC Trading Standards are done so to fulfil its official functions and meet legal requirements under legislation. View the full list of legislation.

In addition, for some tasks, the lawful basis on which we collect and use your personal data ‘processing is necessary for the completion of a task in the public interest’.

Where processing of special category take place, the lawful basis for this processing is that it is ‘necessary for reasons of substantial public interest’, namely, protecting the public against dishonesty for any details received as part of a complaint or regulatory requirements for details shared with the appropriate bodies.

We might occasionally need to rely on the processing of special category data for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims should we need to take any legal advice.

Who we share your personal information with

Your information is not routinely shared, and sharing will be where it is necessary to do so. Your personal information will not be routinely shared outside of the KCC Public Protection Group, unless there is a legal obligation to do so.   Within the Public Protection Group, your details may be shared with other teams who support our service and who require your personal information to carry out their statutory roles.

Where any activity is identified or information which suggests/evidence criminal or unlawful activity, this may be shared for law enforcement purposes which includes the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, including the safeguarding against and the prevention of threats to public security. This information may be shared with other enforcement agencies including but not limited to, Police, Fire and Rescue, DWP, HMRC etc.

Sharing will only take place where there is a legal requirement to do so, and when the sharing is necessary, legitimate and proportionate.  We will assess each case individually and assess the impact of any disclosure.  All sharing will be completed in full accordance with our information sharing protocols.

Your rights

Under GDPR you have rights which you can exercise free of charge which allow you to:

  • withdraw your consent for future contact to be made
  • know what we are doing with your information and why we are doing it
  • ask to see what information we hold about you
  • ask us to correct any mistakes in the information we hold about you
  • object to direct marketing
  • make a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office.

Depending on our reason for using your information you may also be entitled to:

  • ask us to delete information we hold about you
  • have your information transferred electronically to yourself or to another organisation
  • object to decisions being made that significantly affect you
  • object to how we are using your information
  • stop us using your information in certain ways.

We will always seek to comply with your request however we may be required to hold or use your information to comply with legal duties. Please note, your request may delay or prevent us delivering a service to you.

For further information about your rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, see the guidance from the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) on individuals’ rights under GDPR.

Keeping your personal information secure

We have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost, or used or accessed in an unauthorised way. We limit access to your personal information to those who have a genuine business need to know it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.

Who to contact

Please contact the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at data.protection@kent.gov.uk to exercise any of your rights, or if you have a complaint about why your information has been collected, how it has been used or how long we have kept it for.

You can contact our Data Protection Officer, Benjamin Watts, at dpo@kent.gov.uk, or write to: Data Protection Officer, Sessions House, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1XQ.

GDPR also gives you right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority. The supervisory authority in the UK is the Information Commissioner who may be contacted on 03031 231113.

Read our corporate privacy statement.