Data protection policy

Everyone at Norfolk County Council has an important role to play in ensuring that personal information is processed lawfully and fairly.

Personal information is information relating to a living individual who can be identified. We hold personal information about all sorts of people we deal with, including employees and Members.

All personal information must be dealt with properly no matter how it is collected, recorded and used, whether on paper, in a computer, or on other material. This is not just policy and good practice: it is the law – the Data Protection Act 1998.

Every employee and Member has a duty to be aware of the Act’s principles in order to ensure that the Council complies with the law on data protection.

The law is there to protect people’s personal data; it should not be seen as a hindrance to the Council’s operations.

Data Protection Principles

To meet the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998, Norfolk County Council fully endorses the eight principles stated therein, and all employees and Members must adhere to them at all times.

These principles are as follows.

  • Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully and, in particular, shall not be processed unless specific conditions are met
  • Personal data shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes, and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes
  • Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed
  • Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date
  • Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes
  • Personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects under the Act
  • Appropriate technical and organizational measures shall be taken against unauthorized or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data
  • Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedom of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data

Norfolk County Council’s Commitment to the Data Protection Principles

Norfolk County Council will do the following to comply with the principles.

  • Observe fully the conditions regarding the fair collection and use of information
  • Meet its legal obligations to specify the purposes for which information is used
  • Collect and process appropriate information, and only to the extent that it is needed to fulfil operational needs or to comply with any legal requirements
  • Ensure the quality of information used
  • Apply checks on the time that information is held to ensure that it is erased at the appropriate time
  • Ensure that the rights of people about whom we hold information are able to be exercised fully under the Act, including
    – the right to be informed that processing is being undertaken
    – the right of access to their personal information
    – the right to correct, rectify, block or erase information that is regarded as wrong
  • Take appropriate technical and organizational security measures to safeguard personal information
  • Ensure that personal information is not transferred abroad without suitable safeguards

Norfolk County Council’s Measures to Achieve its Commitment to Data Protection

Norfolk County Council will adhere to the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998 by ensuring the following.

  • There are officers with specific responsibility for data protection in the Council. Overall responsibility, at chief officer level, for enforcing this policy and other data protection regulations rests with the Director of Environment, Transport and Development
  • Everyone at the Council managing and handling personal information is trained appropriately
  • Everyone at the Council managing and handling personal information is supervised appropriately
  • Anyone at the Council who does not normally handle personal information knows what to do if the occasion arises
  • Subject access requests and queries about personal information are dealt with promptly and courteously
  • Policy and guidelines on handling personal information are published, and are clear and up to date
  • Regular reviews are undertaken of the way personal information is managed and handled in the Council
  • Regular assessments are made of the Council’s compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998
  • Incidents involving breaches of this policy are recorded and analysed, and disciplinary action taken as appropriate
  • This policy integrates with other corporate policies associated with data protection
  • This policy is reviewed regularly and updated when necessary