KCC Trading Standards privacy notice
We keep this privacy notice under regular review and it was last updated on 9 February 2022.
Kent County Council (KCC) respects your privacy and is committed to protecting your personal data. This privacy notice will inform you as to how we look after your personal data and tell you about your privacy rights and how the law protects you.
Who we are
KCC collects, uses and is responsible for certain personal information about you. When we do so we are regulated under the United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation (‘UK GDPR’) and the Data Protection Act 2018. We are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal information.
KCC is a competent authority for the purposes of Part 3 of the DPA 2018 because we have legal powers to prosecute trading standards offences. This means that we can process personal data for law enforcement purposes.
The 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. We provide advice to businesses to support compliance with regulations, investigate complaints, undertake inspections and testing and we prevent, detect and prosecute crime.
Our Data Protection Officer is Benjamin Watts.
Personal information we collect and use
In order for us to provide our Trading Standards service, we may collect the following personal information when you provide it to us:
- Personal identifiers such as your name, date of birth, contact details, telephone numbers, email address, address and postcode.
- Complaint information, which can include financial transaction data, and details about complainants, businesses, consumers, suspects, victims and witnesses.
- Criminal offence data to include alleged offences.
- Photographs and audio and visual recordings.
If contact is made via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service, they will collect this information and pass it to us, as per their privacy notice.
Whilst we do not seek to collect it, we do recognise that we could be provided with special category data from a data subject. This data can include but is not limited to:
- details of medical conditions and health
- racial or ethnic origin
- political opinions
- religious or philosophical beliefs
- sexual orientation.
We may also collect information concerning criminal convictions and offences.
How we use your personal information
We use your personal information to deliver our statutory and discretionary services and comply with our statutory obligations; which include, but are not limited to:
- preventing and detecting crime
- 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.
Reasons we can collect and use your personal information
We rely on Article 6(1)(c) of the UK GDPR as the lawful basis on which we collect and use your personal data i.e. ‘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. Additionally, for some tasks, we rely on Article 6(1)(e) as the lawful basis on which we collect and use your personal data ie ‘processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest’.
We rely on Article 9(2)(g) as the lawful basis on which we collect and use your special categories of personal data, namely that ‘processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest; for preventing or detecting unlawful acts or for protecting the public against dishonesty and preventing fraud for any details received as part of a complaint or regulatory requirements for details shared with the appropriate bodies (Schedule 1 DPA 18).
We might occasionally need to rely Article 9(2)(f) as the lawful basis on which we collect and use your special categories of personal data, namely that ‘processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims’.
In respect of the use of information about criminal offences and convictions, our lawful bases for processing criminal offence data under Schedule 1, Part 3 of the DPA 2018 are where processing is necessary for:
- the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims
- reasons of substantial public interest, specifically:
- preventing unlawful acts
- protecting the public against dishonesty
- preventing fraud.
We take the following appropriate safeguards in respect of your special category or criminal convictions data when relying on the conditions above:
- we have a Special Category and Criminal Records Appropriate Policy Document in place when using your special category or criminal records data
- this policy is retained throughout the time we use of your data and for 6 months after we cease to use it
- we have a retention schedule which explains how long data is retained
- we maintain a record of our processing in our ‘Record of Processing Activities’ and record in it any reasons for deviating from the periods in our retention schedule.
As Trading Standards will also process personal information for law enforcement purposes (Part 3 of the Data Protection Act), our lawful bases for processing personal data are that:
- ‘Processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out for that purpose by a competent authority (Section 35(2)(b)).
Where we are processing special category data or sensitive data (which includes images relating to the commission of an offence) (in the law enforcement context) we are relying on the following special conditions in Part 3, Chapter 2, section 35 and Schedule 8 of the Data Protection Act 2018:
- The processing is strictly necessary for the law enforcement purpose (Section 35(5)(a), and
- The processing meets the following conditions (from Schedule 8):
1. Statutory etc purposes
This condition is met if the processing –
(a) is necessary for the exercise of a function conferred on a person by an enactment or rule of law, and
(b) is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest.
2. Administration of justice
This condition is met if the processing is necessary for the administration of justice.
8. Preventing fraud
This condition is met if the processing:
(a) is necessary for the purposes of preventing fraud or a particular kind of fraud, and
(b) consists of:
(i) the disclosure of personal data by a competent authority as a member of an anti-fraud organisation,
(ii) the disclosure of personal data by a competent authority in accordance with arrangements made by an anti-fraud organisation
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 – generally this is no more than 7 years from the conclusion of the matter for which it was collected however the period of time can change dependent on the applicable legislation. All information will be kept in accordance with our retention schedules.
Personal data linked to petroleum storage sites will be retained indefinitely.
All personal information is held securely, and once it is no longer needed, is securely destroyed.
Who we share your personal information with
We do not routinely share your information 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 or evidences 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 external enforcement agencies such as HMRC, National Crime Agency, DWP, Illegal Money Lending Team, Insolvency Service, Environment Agency, Licensing, Action Fraud, Environmental Health, Legal Department
- local authority trading standards and national trading standards and regional investigations teams
- central government departments, such as the Office for Product Safety and Standards
- police forces and fire and rescue services
- members of the public, where lawful, under certain Data Protection Act or Freedom of Information Act or Environmental Information Regulations conditions.
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.
We have a data sharing agreement in place with our local enforcement partners who are all signatories to the Kent and Medway Information Sharing Agreement (the KMISA) and a record of processing is kept for this sharing.
We will share personal information with law enforcement or other authorities if required by applicable law or in connection with legal proceedings.
We will share personal information with our legal and professional advisers in the event of a dispute, complaint or claim. We rely on Article 9(2)(f) where the processing of special category data is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims or whenever courts are acting in their judicial capacity.
Under the data protection legislation you have a number of rights which you can access free of charge which allow you to:
- 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:
- object to how we are using your information
- ask us to delete information we hold about you
- have your information transferred electronically to yourself or to another organisation
- object to automated decisions being made that significantly affect you
- 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. For example, where we are processing your personal information for law enforcement purposes (Part 3 of the Data Protection Act), there are exemptions and restrictions that can, in some instances, be legitimately applied to prevent individuals from exercising rights.
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 the United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation.
If you would like to exercise a right, please contact the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your right to withdraw your consent
Where we rely on your consent to process your personal information, you can withdraw your consent to our use of your data at any time.
You can do this by contacting the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com, or write to: Data Protection Officer, Sessions House, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1XQ.
Read our corporate privacy statement.