Data Protection Policy
The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May 2018. The new regulations have changed the landscape of data protection and therefore we as a firm set out in this privacy standard how we will handle personal data of our clients, suppliers, employees and other third parties. This policy applies with immediate effect.
This Privacy Standard applies to all Personal Data we process regardless of the media on which that data is stored or whether it relates to past or present employees, workers, customers, clients or supplier contacts, website users or any other Data Subject.
This Privacy Standard applies to all Company Personnel. You must read, understand and comply with this Privacy Standard when Processing Personal Data on our behalf and attend training on its requirements. This Privacy Standard sets out what we expect from you in order for us to comply with applicable law. Your compliance with this Privacy Standard is mandatory.
Any breach of this Privacy Standard may result in disciplinary action.
Data Protection by Design & Default
Our approach to data protection will not be an afterthought but is embedded into all our activities, business practices and will form an integral part of all policies, procedures and how thy impact upon all factors. To ensure that data protection is part of the fundamentals of our business, we will:
- Consider data protection issues as part of the design and interpretation of systems, services, products and business practices;
- Data protection is an essential component of the core functionality of our processing systems and services;
- We will anticipate risks and privacy-invasive events before they occur, and take steps to prevent harm to individuals;
- We will only process the personal data that we need for our purposes, and that we only use the data for those purposes;
- Personal data is automatically protected in our IT system, Service and\or business practice, so that individuals should not have to take any specific action to protect their privacy;
- Always provide the identity and contact information of our data controller and DPO to both our employee’s and clients;
- Adopt a plain language policy for any public documents so that individuals easily understand what we are doing with their personal data;
- Provide individuals with tools so they can determine how we are using their personal data, and whether our policies are been properly enforced;
- Be user-friendly to our clients and employees and will always respect their preferences asked to the processing of their personal data;
- When we use other systems, services or products in processing activities, we make sure that we only use those who take data protection issues into account;
- We will only use data processes that provide sufficient guarantees of their technical and organisational measures for data protection by design;
- Always consider whether Data Protection Impact Assessment is required whenever we start a new project and review the need for a DPIA on an ongoing basis. Please refer to section 5.3.14
Data Controller/Data Protection Officer
The practice’s nominated data controller is MOHAMMAD ISHFAQ (MI). The practice has also appointed a Data Protection Officer who is responsible for our data protection strategy and implementation to ensure compliance with GDPR requirements.
Our Data Protection Officer is Mr. Shaqil Ahmed, an external consultant. He can be contacted at email@example.com. All issue arising in relation to data protection must be referred to the DPO.
The tasks of the DPO are:
- To inform and advise MI and all employees of our obligations pursuant to GDPR and any other data protection provisions:
- To monitor compliance with these provisions of our policies and procedures. This includes the assignment of responsibilities, awareness-raising and training of all staff;
- To provide advice where requested;
- To co-operate with the Supervisory authority;
- To act as a contact point for the supervisory authority and data subjects.
Personal Data Protection Principles
We adhere to the principles relating to Processing of Personal Data set out in the GDPR which require Personal Data to be:
- Processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner (Lawfulness, Fairness and Transparency).
- Collected only for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes (Purpose Limitation).
- Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which it is Processed (Data Minimisation).
- Accurate and where necessary kept up to date (Accuracy).
- Not kept in a form which permits identification of Data Subjects for longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the data is Processed (Storage Limitation).
- Processed in a manner that ensures its security using appropriate technical and organisational measures to protect against unauthorised or unlawful Processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage (Security, Integrity and Confidentiality).
- Not transferred to another country without appropriate safeguards being in place (Transfer Limitation).
- Made available to Data Subjects and Data Subjects allowed to exercise certain rights in relation to their Personal Data (Data Subject’s Rights and Requests).
We are responsible for and must be able to demonstrate compliance with the data protection principles listed above (Accountability).
Lawfulness and fairness
Personal data must be processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to the Data Subject.
We will only collect, process and share Personal Data fairly and lawfully and for specified purposes. The GDPR restricts our actions regarding Personal Data to specified lawful purposes. These restrictions are not intended to prevent Processing, but ensure that we Process Personal Data fairly and without adversely affecting the Data Subject.
The GDPR allows Processing for specific purposes, some of which are set out below:
- the Data Subject has given his or her Consent;
- the Processing is necessary for the performance of a contract with the Data Subject;
- to meet our legal compliance obligations.;
- to protect the Data Subject’s vital interests;
- to pursue our legitimate interests for purposes where they are not overridden because the Processing prejudices the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of Data Subjects.
We must only process Personal Data on the basis of one or more of the above lawful reasons as set out in the GDPR, which include Consent.
A Data Subject consents to Processing of their Personal Data if they indicate agreement clearly either by a statement or positive action to the Processing. Consent requires affirmative action so silence, pre-ticked boxes or inactivity are unlikely to be sufficient. If Consent is given in a document, which deals with other matters, then the Consent must be kept separate from those other matters.
Data Subjects must be easily able to withdraw Consent to Processing at any time and withdrawal must be promptly honoured. Consent may need to be refreshed if you intend to Process Personal Data for a different and incompatible purpose, which was not, disclosed when the Data Subject first consented.
Unless we can rely on another legal basis of Processing, Explicit Consent is usually required for Processing Sensitive Personal Data, for Automated Decision-Making and for cross border data transfers. Usually we will be relying on another legal basis (and not require Explicit Consent) to Process most types of Sensitive Data. Where Explicit Consent is required, you must issue a Fair Processing Notice to the Data Subject to capture Explicit Consent.
You will need to evidence Consent captured and keep records of all Consents so that the practice can demonstrate compliance with Consent requirements.
Transparency (notifying data subjects)
The GDPR requires us to provide detailed, specific information to Data Subjects depending on whether the information was collected directly from Data Subjects or from elsewhere. Such information must be provided through appropriate notices, which must be concise, transparent, intelligible, easily accessible, and in clear and plain language so that a Data Subject can easily understand them.
Whenever we collect Personal Data directly from Data Subjects, including for human resources or employment purposes, we must provide the Data Subject with all the information required by the GDPR including the identity of the Data Controller, how and why we will use, process, disclose, protect and retain that Personal Data through a Notice, which must be presented when the Data Subject first provides the Personal Data.
This Information is provided to the Data Subject, which may be in the form of clients and/or employees by a privacy notice. All existing employees have been provided with a privacy notice. All new employees will be provided this information on induction.
Personal Data must be collected only for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes. It must not be further Processed in any manner incompatible with those purposes.
We cannot use Personal Data for new, different or incompatible purposes from that disclosed when it was first obtained unless the Data Subject is informed of the new purposes and they have Consented where necessary.
Personal Data must be adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which it is processed.
- You may only Process Personal Data when performing your job duties requires it. You cannot Process Personal Data for any reason unrelated to your job duties.
- You may only collect Personal Data that you require for your job duties: do not collect excessive data. Ensure any Personal Data collected is adequate and relevant for the intended purposes.
- You must ensure that when Personal Data is no longer needed for specified purposes, it is deleted or anonymised in accordance with the Company’s data retention guidelines.
Personal Data must be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date. It must be corrected or deleted without delay when inaccurate
You will ensure that the Personal Data we use and hold is accurate, complete, kept up to date and relevant to the purpose for which we collected it. You must check the accuracy of any Personal Data at the point of collection and at regular intervals afterwards. You must take all reasonable steps to destroy or amend inaccurate or out-of-date Personal Data.
Personal Data must not be kept in an identifiable form for longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the data is processed.
You must not keep Personal Data in a form which permits the identification of the Data Subject for longer than needed for the legitimate business purpose or purposes for which we originally collected it including for the purpose of satisfying any legal, accounting or reporting requirements.
You will take all reasonable steps to destroy or erase from our systems all Personal Data that we no longer require in accordance with all the Company’s applicable records retention schedules and policies. This includes requiring third parties to delete such data where applicable.
So that there is a clear and consistent understanding of what information must be kept, and for how long, along with a clear and consistent understanding of what is regarded as ephemeral, (A document containing information of short term or transitory value), and therefore able to be destroyed once no longer needed. A retention period register is maintained by MI.
Documents identified, as corporate records will be stored on the company’s secure server and managed in line with the agreed retention period. MI will maintain a register of all corporate records on the secure server.
The retention periods for all types of data will be annually reviewed by MI and the retention periods updated. If any new categories of data are processed, then the retention period will be reviewed by MI and all staff will be informed.
Security Integrity and Confidentiality
Personal Data must be secured by appropriate technical and organisational measures against unauthorised or unlawful Processing, and against accidental loss, destruction or damage.
We maintain safeguards appropriate to our size, scope and business, our available resources, the amount of Personal Data that we own or maintain on behalf of others and identified risks (including use of encryption and Pseudonymisation where applicable). We will regularly evaluate and test the effectiveness of those safeguards to ensure security of our Processing of Personal Data. You are responsible for protecting the Personal Data we hold. You must implement reasonable and appropriate security measures against unlawful or unauthorised Processing of Personal Data and against the accidental loss of, or damage to, Personal Data. You must exercise particular care in protecting Sensitive Personal Data from loss and unauthorised access, use or disclosure.
You must follow all procedures and technologies we put in place to maintain the security of all Personal Data from the point of collection to the point of destruction. You may only transfer Personal Data to third-party service providers who agree to comply with the required policies and procedures and who agree to put adequate measures in place, as requested.
You must maintain data security by protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the Personal Data, defined as follows:
- Confidentiality means that only people who have a need to know and are authorised to use the Personal Data can access it.
- Integrity means that Personal Data is accurate and suitable for the purpose for which it is processed.
- Availability means that authorised users are able to access the Personal Data when they need it for authorised purposes.
You must comply with and not attempt to circumvent the administrative, physical and technical safeguards we implement and maintain in accordance with the GDPR and relevant standards to protect Personal Data.
The DPO in collaboration with MI will maintain records of all processing activities. This record will record the following information:
- the name and contact details of the controller and, where applicable, the joint controller, the controller’s representative and the data protection officer;
- the lawful basis and purposes of the processing;
- a description of the categories of data subjects and of the categories of personal data;
- the categories of recipients to whom the personal data have been or will be disclosed including recipients in third countries or international organisations;
- where applicable, transfers of personal data to a third country or an international organisation, including the identification of that third country or international organisation;
- where possible, the envisaged time limits for erasure of the different categories of data;
where possible, a general description of the technical and organisational security measures.
Reporting a Personal data Breach
The GDPR requires the Data Controller (MI) and the DPO to notify any Personal Data Breach to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) within 72 hours of the breach. This obligation does not apply where the breach is unlikely to result in a risk to the affected data subject.
The notification to the supervisory authority must include:
- The nature of the personal data breach, including (where possible):
- Categories and approximate number of data subjects concerned; and
- Categories and approximate number of data Records concerned;
- The name and contact details of the DPO or other contact point in the event that further information is required;
- The likely consequences of the personal data breach;
- The measures taken, or to be taken by the data controller to address the breach, including any mitigation measures.
If a personal data breach is likely to result in a high risk to the data subject, we must then inform the data subject of the breach without delay of the breach and the following information:
- The name and contact details of the DPO or order contacts point in the event that further information is required:
- The likely consequences of the personal data breach; and
- The measures taken, or to be taken by the data controller to address the beach, including any mitigation measures.
We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected Personal Data Breach and will notify Data Subjects or any applicable regulator where we are legally required to do so. All staff have been trained to identify a breach of personal data.
If you know or suspect that a Personal Data Breach has occurred, do not attempt to investigate the matter yourself. Immediately report this to our DPO by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and MI should be copied into the e-mail. You should preserve all evidence relating to the potential Personal Data Breach.
Upon receipt of the report, MI and the DPO will review and record the breach and if determined that the matter is reportable will make the report to the supervisory authority. A record of all breaches and the action taken will be maintained.
The GDPR restricts data transfers to countries outside the EEA in order to ensure that the level of data protection afforded to individuals by the GDPR is not undermined. You transfer Personal Data originating in one country across borders when you transmit, send, view or access that data in or to a different country.
In our normal operation of practice, we do not transfer any Personal Data to any country outside the EEA. However, in the unusual scenario that this situation arises, we must only transfer Personal data outside the EEA if one of the following conditions apply:
- the European Commission has issued a decision confirming that the country to which we transfer the Personal Data ensures an adequate level of protection for the Data Subjects’ rights and freedoms;
- appropriate safeguards are in place such as binding corporate rules (BCR), standard contractual clauses approved by the European Commission, an approved code of conduct or a certification mechanism.
- the Data Subject has provided Explicit Consent to the proposed transfer after being informed of any potential risks; or
- the transfer is necessary for one of the other reasons set out in the GDPR including the performance of a contract between us and the Data Subject, reasons of public interest, to establish, exercise or defend legal claims or to protect the vital interests of the Data Subject where the Data Subject is physically or legally incapable of giving Consent and, in some limited cases, for our legitimate interest.
Data Subjects Rights
Data Subjects have rights when it comes to how we handle their Personal Data. These include rights to:
- withdraw Consent to Processing at any time;
- receive certain information about the Data Controller’s Processing activities;
- request access to their Personal Data that we hold;
- prevent our use of their Personal Data for direct marketing purposes;
- ask us to erase Personal Data if it is no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which it was collected or Processed or to rectify inaccurate data or to complete incomplete data;
- restrict Processing in specific circumstances;
- challenge Processing which has been justified on the basis of our legitimate interests or in the public interest;
- request a copy of an agreement under which Personal Data is transferred outside of the EEA;
- object to decisions based solely on Automated Processing, including profiling (ADM);
- prevent Processing that is likely to cause damage or distress to the Data Subject or anyone else;
- be notified of a Personal Data Breach which is likely to result in high risk to their rights and freedoms;
- make a complaint to the supervisory authority; and
- in limited circumstances, receive or ask for their Personal Data to be transferred to a third party in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
Data Subject Access
In accordance with their rights, Data subjects have a right to request access or alternatively to exercise any of their other rights detailed above. All staff have been provided with detailed training in being able to identify such requests and the action that they need to take.
Upon receipt or the identification of such request all staff must:
- verify the identity of an individual requesting data under any of the rights listed above (do not allow third parties to persuade you into disclosing Personal Data without proper authorisation);
- immediately forward any Data Subject request you receive to the DPO.
When DPO receives a subject access request either internally, or from directly from a client, he will within one month of receipt of the request:
- Respond and carry out the terms of the request; or
- Advise the Data Subject making the request why the request cannot be carried out.
In exceptional circumstances when the request or the data is complex, this period can be extended by a period of 2 months. In this instance, the DPO must inform the Data Subject of this, advising them of their rights to complain to the supervisory authority. A record of all Data Subject Access requests and the action taken will be maintained by the DPO.
Accountability & Data Protection Impact Assessments
As Data Controllers, we are responsible for, and must be able to demonstrate, compliance with the data protection principles. We have implemented controls to document and ensure GDPR compliance including:
- implementing Privacy by Design when Processing Personal Data and completing DPIAs where Processing presents a high risk to rights and freedoms of Data Subjects;
- integrating data protection into internal documents;
- regularly training of all staff on the GDPR.
- Maintaining a record of training attendance by Company Personnel; and
- regularly testing the privacy measures implemented and conducting periodic reviews and audits to assess compliance, including using results of testing to demonstrate compliance improvement effort.
Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA)
We will always consider the need to carry out a DPIA at the preliminary stage of any new project or data processing activity. Our DPO will be consulted and engaged in the assessment.
We will do a DPIA for any kind of processing that is likely to result in a high risk two individuals or for any other major projects which require the processing of personal data.
Our DPIA must:
- describe the nature, scope, context and purposes of the processing;
- assess necessity, proportionality and compliance measures;
- identify and assess risks to individuals; and
- identify any additional measures to mitigate those risks.
To assess the level of risk, we must consider both the likelihood and the severity of any impact on individuals. High risk could result from either a high probability of some harm, or a lower possibility of serious harm.
Along with our data protection officer and, where appropriate, individuals and relevant experts will also be consulted during the DPIA. Any processors may also need to assist you.
If we identify a high risk that cannot be mitigate, we must consult the ICO before starting the processing. The ICO will give written advice within eight weeks, or 14 weeks in complex cases.
If appropriate, the ICO may issue a formal warning not to process the data, or ban the processing altogether, in which instance we will immediately abandon the project.
Sharing Personal Data
Generally, we are not allowed to share Personal Data with third parties unless certain safeguards and contractual arrangements have been put in place.
You may only share the Personal Data we hold with another employee, agent or representative if the recipient has a job-related need to know the information.
You may only share the Personal Data we hold with third parties, such as our service providers if:
- they have a need to know the information for the purposes of providing the contracted services;
- sharing the Personal Data complies with the notice provided to the Data Subject and, if required, the Data Subject’s Consent has been obtained;
- the third party has agreed to comply with the required data security standards, policies and procedures and put adequate security measures in place;
- the transfer complies with any applicable cross border transfer restrictions; and a fully executed written contract that contains GDPR approved third party clauses has been obtained.
Data Protection Training
Directors, employees and consultants will undergo full training in respect of Data Protection, enabling them to identify and implement data protection into their everyday working practices and for it to become second nature.
New Employees will undergo Data Protection training as part of their induction. This will be followed up by periodic training and updates for all staff.
The Data Protection Training will be recorded in the Training records of all staff.