Processing personal data

The personal information that you provide us with will be processed according to the Data Protection Act 1998, other relevant legislation and the guidelines we have set for our staff.
​The data protection law is changing from 25 May 2018 and these pages will be updated to reflect those changes.
We will not disclose your information to third parties for marketing purposes and your data will be secure and confidential at all times.
All personal information is kept secure and confidential at all times and is only held as long as necessary or as required by law.
Wires attached to a computer server

​What personal data does the council hold?

You can find a full list of what information we control and process and for what purposes in the data protection notifications we file annually with the Information Commissioner.
The notification is kept on the Information Commissioner’s Register of Data Controllers. Just click on the search button and enter ‘London Borough of Newham’ in the ‘name’ field.

What does the council use the information for?

We use your information to ensure that you have the appropriate services and for administering Council Tax and benefits.
We may also use the information to help us to:
  • plan our services
  • account for our decisions and investigate complaints
  • make sure the service you receive is efficient and effective
  • meet our statutory obligations
  • identify and protect those at risk of harm.

When will my information be shared with other organisations?

We may need to share your personal data with external partners and organisations, such as your GP, the Benefit Agency, housing agencies or the UK Border Agency:
  • for the prevention or detection of fraud and other crime
  • to protect a child, yourself or the public
  • if we are required to do so by any court or law.
This may include, but is not limited to, matching Council Tax data with electoral registration records and the passing of the full version of the electoral register to the Cabinet Office for the National Fraud Initiative.

Our fair processing notice explains more about how we work with the Cabinet Office to prevent and detect fraud.

How does the council ensure my privacy is protected?

How we store and use your personal data is governed by the Data Protection Act 1998 and other legislation.
We also follow the best practice principles for the way public bodies store and share information, laid out in the Caldicott Report 1997 and Caldicott Review 2011:
  1. A formal justification of purpose is required prior to sharing information.
  2. Identifiable information is to be transferred only when absolutely necessary.
  3. Information should be limited to the minimum required only.
  4. Access to information should be on a need-to-know basis only.
  5. All staff to understand their responsibilities in sharing information.
  6. All staff should comply with and understand the law.
  7. The duty to share information can be as important as the duty to protect a person's confidentiality.
When we share information with external partners, we are restricted by agreed protocols. We currently have two information sharing protocols with health and social care services and crime and anti-social behaviour agencies.

We also have information sharing agreements with organisations, government agencies, local government and contractors that work in partnership with the council.
For more information on data protection and how we share information, email the Information Governance team or telephone 020 8430 3737.
The Information Commissioner is responsible for ensuring that individuals and organisations look after your personal data in keeping with the law.
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