Privacy Policy

Folkestone & Hythe District Council (the Council) needs to hold and use information about its citizens in order to provide services.

The Council and your Personal Information

Your privacy is important to the council and we aim for full transparency on how it gathers, uses, and share your personal information in accordance with the Data Protection legislation.

The Council registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioner under reference Z605908X.

If you have any concerns about how the Council is handling your personal data, these can be raised with the Council's Data Protection Officer at:

The Council keeps its privacy notice under regular review and it will place an updated version on this page.  This will help ensure that you are always aware of what information the Council collects and how it is used.

Personal information  

Personal information can be anything that identifies and relates to a living person. This can include information that when put together with other information can then identify a person. For example, this could be your name and contact details. 

Some of your personal information might be sensitive 

Some information falls within "special categories of personal data" this means that it needs more protection due to its sensitivity. It's often information you would not want widely known and is very personal to you. This is likely to include anything that can reveal your: 

  • sexuality and sexual health
  • religious or philosophical beliefs
  • ethnicity
  • physical or mental health
  • trade union membership
  • political opinion
  • genetic/biometric data
  • criminal history

Why does the Council need your personal information?  

The Council may need to use some information about you to: 

  • deliver public services either to you or the public generally
  • collect Council Tax, Business Rates and pay Benefits
  • prevent and detect crime and disorder including fraud and corruption in the use of public funds
  • allow us to undertake statutory functions efficiently and effectively
  • make sure we meet our statutory obligations including those related to diversity and equalities.

The Council may not be able to provide you with a product or service unless it has enough information, or your permission to use that information.

How the law allows the Council to use your personal information

There are a number of legal reasons why the Council needs to collect and use your personal information. 

Generally the Council collects and uses personal information where: 

  • you, or your legal representative, have given consent
  • you have entered into a contract with the Council
  • you have requested a service from the Council,
  • we need to communicate with you and provide services and benefits appropriate to your needs.
  • to ensure that we meet our legal obligations.
  • there is s requirement for law enforcement functions, including for the prevention and detect fraud or crime.
  • to the Council needs to process financial transactions including grants, payments and benefits.
  • required for employment purposes.
  • it is necessary to protect individuals from harm or injury.
  • there is a requirement to carry out the statistical analysis of data so we can plan the provision of services.

If the Council has asked for your specific consent to use your personal information, you have the right to remove it at any time. If you want to remove your consent, please contact data.protection@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk and identify which service you're using so the Council can deal with your request. 

Use of personal data

The Council only collects and uses personal information if it needs the information to deliver a service or meet a requirement.   If the Council does not need personal information or the Council already has it you will not be asked for it. 

The Council does not sell your personal information to anyone else though you should note that the Electoral Registration officer of the Council sells on request the open version of the electoral register.  If you have opted out of this version your details will not appear on it.    

Your rights  

The law gives you a number of rights to control what personal information is used by the Council.   

  1. You can ask for access to the information the council holds on you
  2. You have the right to ask for all the information the council has about you. Please visit the Data Protection page of the Council's web-site is you want to make a Subject Access Request.
  3. You can ask for information to be changed if you think it is inaccurate 
  4. You should let the Council know if you disagree with some of the information we hold about you or someone you are legally responsible for (e.g. a child). 
  5. The Council may not always be able to change or remove that information but it will correct factual inaccuracies and may include your comments in the record to show that you disagree with it.   
  6. You can ask to for information to be erased 

In some circumstances you can ask for your personal information to be erased, for example:  

  • Where your personal information is no longer needed
  • Where you have removed your consent for the Council to use your information (where there is no other legal reason us to use it)
  • Where deleting the information is a legal requirement

In certain circumstances we may share your information with other agencies. Where your personal information has been shared with others, the Council will do what it can to make sure those using your personal information comply with your request for erasure. 

Please note that the Council cannot delete your information where:  

  • we're required to have it by law
  • it is used for freedom of expression 
  • it is used for public health purposes
  • it is for, scientific or historical research, or statistical purposes where it would make information unusable
  • it is necessary for legal claims 

You can ask the Council to limit what it uses your personal data for.You have the right to ask us to restrict what we use your personal information for where: 

  • you have identified inaccurate information, and have told the Council about it
  • where the Council has no legal reason to use that information but you want the Council to restrict what it uses the information for rather than erase the information altogether 
     

If the data have been disclosed to others, then the council will notify those recipients about the restrictions (unless this is impossible or involves disproportionate effort).
The council will notify you before lifting a restriction. You can ask to have your information moved to another provider (data portability) 
You have the right to ask for your personal information to be given back to you or another service provider of your choice in a commonly used format. This is called data portability. 

However this only applies if the Council is using your personal information with consent (not if the Council is required to by law) and if the processing is carried out by automated means. 
It's likely that data portability will not apply to most of the services you receive from the Council.  

Right to object

You have right to object to:

  • processing based on legitimate interests or the performance of a task in the public interest/exercise of official authority (including profiling);
  • direct marketing (including profiling); and
  • processing for purposes of scientific/historical research and statistics.

The Council must stop processing your personal data if you object unless:

  • it can demonstrate compelling legitimate grounds for the processing, which override your interests, rights and freedoms of the individual; or
  • the processing is for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.

The Council must stop processing personal data for direct marketing purposes as soon as it receives an objection.

If the Council is conducting research where the processing of personal data is necessary for the performance of a public interest task, it is not required to comply with an objection to the processing.

You can make an objection by emailing: data.protection@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk

Rights related to automated decision making including profiling. You can ask to have any computer made decisions explained to you, and details of how the Council may have 'risk profiled' you. 
You have the right to question decisions made about you by a computer, unless it is required for any contract you have entered into, required by law, or you have consented to it.  

You also have the right to object if you are being 'profiled'. Profiling is where decisions are made about you based on certain things in your personal information, e.g. your health conditions.  
If and when the Council uses your personal information to profile you, in order to deliver the most appropriate service to you, you will be informed.  

If you have concerns regarding automated decision making, or profiling, please contact the Data Protection Officer who will be able to advise you about the Council is using your information.  

Who does the Council share your information with? 

We use a range of organisations to either store personal information or help deliver our services to you. Where we have these arrangements there is always an agreement in in place to make sure that the organisation complies with data protection law.  

The Council will complete a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) before it shares any personal information to make sure we protect your privacy and comply with the law. 

Sometimes we have a legal duty to provide personal information to other organisations, e.g. for the detection and prevention of fraud and other crime.

The Council may also share your personal information when we feel there's a good reason that's more important than protecting your privacy. The Council may share your information: 

  • in order to find and stop crime and fraud;
  • if there are serious risks to the public, the Council's staff or to other professionals;
  • to protect a child; or
  • to protect adults who are thought to be at risk, for example if they are frail, confused or cannot understand what is happening to them

For all of these reasons the risk must be serious before the Council can override your right to privacy.  

How does the Council protect your information? 

The Council has systems and process in place to make sure the records it holds about you (on paper and electronically) are done so in a secure way, and it will only make them available to those who have a right to see them.

Where is your information held?

The majority of personal information is stored on systems in the UK. But there are some occasions where your information may leave the UK either in order to get to another organisation or if it is stored in a system outside of the EU. Where this is the case additional safeguards as required by legislation will be put in place. 

How long does the Council keep your personal information?

For each service the retention schedule lists how long your information may be kept for. This ranges from months for some records to decades for more sensitive records.  

Where can I get advice?

If you have any worries or questions about how your personal information is handled please contact the Data Protection Officer at data.protection @folkestone-hythe.gov.uk  

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) at: 

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House 
Water Lane 
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number. 

Alternatively, visit ico.org.uk or email casework@ico.org.uk

Version 1 May 2018