Information Access Requests 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) provides a range of government services to local people and businesses. We need to collect, use and process personal data to deliver these services. The Information Resilience and Transparency team (IR&T) handles information access requests within KCC.
In the UK there are laws that give you the right to access many kinds of information held by public authorities like KCC. If we receive a request from or about you, we are required to process personal data to comply with our legal duties. Information access laws include:
- Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI).
- Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR).
- INSPIRE Regulations 2009.
- Reuse of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 (RPSI).
When we process your data, we comply with the United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018). We are responsible as the ‘controller’ of that personal data for the purposes of these laws.
The personal data we collect and use
Information collected by us
To manage information access requests, we collect the following personal data from you:
- contact details (e.g., name, email/postal address)
- reason for contacting us (e.g., details of your request for information or complaint)
- when appropriate, proof of your entitlement to information (e.g., a copy of a will or letters of administration).
Another public authority you have made a request to may refer it to KCC if they believe we are likely to hold the information you have asked for. If this happens, we will write to you to acknowledge the request.
How we use your personal data
We use personal data to respond to requests for information or complaints. This includes:
- Recording the details of your request on our case management application, iCasework
- Writing to you to acknowledge receipt of your request, clarify the information you are seeking and ultimately make a disclosure to you
- Determining whether personal data can be lawfully disclosed to the public through a request
- Maintaining records of how your request was processed for training, monitoring and compliance purposes.
How long your personal data will be kept
We will hold your personal data (and other information relating to your request for information or complaint) for 3 years from last contact or end of administrative use.
Anonymised summary information about case handling is kept in a statistical format indefinitely.
Reasons we can collect and use your personal data
The provision of contact details, including name, address or email address is required from you to enable us to validate and respond to your information access request or complaint.
If you do not provide your contact details, we will not be able to progress your information access request, or keep you updated with progress on any investigations we may make because of your feedback.
We collect and use your personal data to carry out tasks to comply with our legal obligations, and to carry out tasks in the public interest. We rely on the following legal processing bases under UK GDPR:
- Article (6)(1)(c) - legal obligation: the processing is necessary to comply with the law (not including contractual obligations).
- Article (6)(1)(e) - public task: the processing is necessary to perform a task in the public interest or for official functions (task or function has a clear basis in law).
We do not ask for, or need, special category data from you (for example racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, health, sexual orientation, genetic/biometric information) to progress your information access request or complaint.
However, if you provide it to us voluntarily, we will only use that information if it is vital either to your information access request or complaint and/or is to comply with a special requirement that you may have.
We rely on the following legal basis under UK GDPR:
- Article 9(2)(a) - the data subject has given explicit consent to the processing of those personal data for one or more specified purposes.
- Article 9(2)(e) - processing relates to personal data which are manifestly made public by the data subject.
If we receive an information access request from a 3rd party relating to your personal data, we will consider whether it is lawful to disclose the information to the public. To do this, we may consult with you directly or decide ourselves if we feel that it would be inherently unlawful to disclose the data.
When considering the disclosure of personal data under FOI or EIR, we rely on the following legal bases under the UK GDPR:
- Article 6(1)(a) - the data subject has given consent to the processing of his or her personal data for one or more specific purposes.
- Article 6(1)(f) - processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the controller or by a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child.
Who we share your personal data with
We use a software system (iCasework) provided by a third-party supplier to capture, coordinate, and manage your request for information or complaint.
We routinely share with:
- services within KCC who can provide information meeting the scope of your request for information. This may include contractors providing services on KCC’s behalf
- the Local Government Ombudsman or the Information Commissioner’s Office, if you have requested their intervention
- our professional advisers or with law enforcement or other regulatory authorities if required to by legislation.
Where the disclosure of requested information could affect the interests of a third party, we may consult with them for their views. We will not share the requester’s name or contact details while doing this.
Under the UK GDPR you have rights which you can exercise 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 (subject access request)
- ask us to correct any mistakes in the information we hold about you
- object to direct marketing
- make a complaint to the Information Commissioners Office
- withdraw consent at any time (if applicable)
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.
If you would like to exercise a right, please contact the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at email@example.com.
Keeping your personal data secure
We have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal data from being accidentally lost or used or accessed in an unauthorised way. We limit access to your personal data 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.
Please contact the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a question or complaint about an information access request, 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.
UK GDPR also gives you right to lodge a complaint with Information Commissioner, who may be contacted via the Information Commissioner's website or call 03031 231113.