Your information rights

Find out about your rights and how you can apply to see your information.

Under data protection legislation, you are entitled to ask us for a copy of all the personal information we hold about you. This is known as the ‘Right of Access to Personal Data’. You are also entitled to receive information about how we obtained your information, what we are using it for and whether we are sharing it with anyone.

We will make a positive effort to tell you how your personal information is used. This will be done in various ways, including:

  • through our pages on privacy notices and cookies
  • privacy notices on forms we use to collect your information
  • posters and leaflets in Council premises
  • discussions with you when working with you in person

Your right to request a free copy of the information we hold about you

You have the right to ask for your own information and you may also be legally entitled to access another person’s information. Before we can deal with your request, we will need proof of your identification, as well as proof of consent if you are asking on behalf of someone else.

Information about you

We need:

  • two forms of identification that show between them: your name, date of birth and current address.

Information about your child

We need:

  • two forms of identification that show between them: your name, date of birth and current address.
  • confirmation that you are the birth parent. Please send a copy of the child’s birth certificate.

Please note: where applicable we will write directly to your child to ask them for their consent to allow you as a parent to receive their information. This is in line with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) guidance.

The ICO states that:

“Even if a child is too young to understand the implications of subject access rights, it is still the right of the child rather than of anyone else such as a parent or guardian. So, it is the child who has a right of access to the information held about them, even though, in the case of young children, these rights are likely to be exercised by those with parental responsibility for them.”

The ICO further advises that “In Scotland, a person aged 12 years or over is presumed to be of sufficient age and maturity to be able to exercise their right of access, unless the contrary is shown. This presumption does not apply in England and Wales or in Northern Ireland, where competence is assessed depending upon the level of understanding of the child, but it does indicate an approach that will be reasonable in many cases.”

We may therefore ask your child for their consent before we proceed with your request for their information.

Please note:  the right of access to information is the child’s right and not the parents or their advocate. The local authority must prioritise the best interests of the child when considering any requests. This may mean that, on occasions, we are not able to provide information to you.

Information about another person

We need:

  • two forms of identification that show between them: your name, date of birth and current address.
  • consent from the other person, or a copy of your power of attorney or other legal document that states that you can act on their behalf.

Completing the form

  • You can upload your identification and consent forms on page one of the online form (see ‘Apply to see personal information’ button below).
  • It will help us deal with your request quickly if you can provide as much information as possible to identify where your information is located and what you are looking for. There will be a delay to your request if you ask for ‘all information about me held by the Council’.

Or you can make a written request.

Send a request in writing with copies of your identification and consent to:

Data Subject Access Request
Information Governance Team
County Hall
Taunton
TA1 4DY
Email SAR@somerset.gov.uk

What happens next

We will check that we have the information and consent that we need to process the request. Once we have all we need, we must reply to you within one month. However, we can extend this to three months if your application involves a lot of information or is very complicated. If this is the case, we will tell you.

Your right to request the rectification or correction of data

If you believe that any information, we hold about you is inaccurate you have the right to ask for it to be corrected. In some cases, this will be straight forward but in others it may take time to amend the records.

In some cases, we are obliged by law to maintain the original record, we may not change the original record but will instead add a comment to your file saying that you believe the information to be incorrect.

In some cases, we may refuse to change the record or add your comment and, if this is the case, we will explain why at the time.

To request rectification of data, please contact us at informationgovernance@somerset.gov.uk to explain what information you believe is inaccurate and why. It may be necessary to request proof of identification and further information and we will let you know if this is the case.

Your right to request that we erase or delete your information (The right to be forgotten)

If you believe that we hold information about you and you want it removed, you have the right to ask us to erase or delete the information.

In some cases, we are obliged by law to maintain the record, and we will not erase or delete it but will instead add a comment to your file noting your request. In cases where we refuse to erase or delete the information we will explain why at the time.

To request erasure of data, please contact us at informationgovernance@somerset.gov.uk to explain what information you would like removed. It may be necessary to request proof of identification and further information and we will let you know if this is the case.

Your right to request the restriction of processing if in dispute

If you have contacted us asking for your information to be corrected, erased or deleted you can ask us to temporarily stop processing your information until the issue is resolved.

In some cases, where we are obliged by law to maintain and process the record, we will continue to process your information and will add a comment to your file noting your request. In cases where we refuse to stop processing your information we will explain why at the time.

You can inform us of your request to restrict processing by email to informationgovernance@somerset.gov.uk

Your right to portability, to request a copy of your data to be sent elsewhere

Where we process your information because you have provided explicit consent, or we have entered into a contract with you, you can request us to transfer your information to another organisation.

You can find out more by sending an email to informationgovernance@somerset.gov.uk

Your right to object, to request that we stop processing your data

If at any time you want us to stop processing your personal information, you can contact us and we will investigate.

In some cases, we are obliged by law to maintain and process your information. We will continue to process your information and will add a comment to your file noting your request. Where we refuse to stop processing your information we will explain why at the time.

There may be cases where, if we stop processing your information, we will no longer be able to provide you with services you have requested. Therefore, you need to consider this request very seriously.

To request that we stop processing your data, please contact us at informationgovernance@somerset.gov.uk. Please explain what information your request relates to and why you would like us to stop processing it. It may be necessary to request proof of identification and further information and we will let you know if this is the case.

Automated decision making and profiling; the logic, and consequences

Profiling is a form of automated decision making, which is intended to evaluate you, and in particular to analyse or predict your:

  • economic situation
  • health
  • personal preferences
  • reliability
  • behaviour
  • location
  • movements

If we analyse your information in this way, we will inform you that this is being done and offer you the option of objecting to that process being carried out.

In some cases, we may refuse your request if the profiling is required by law.

You can find out more by sending an email to informationgovernance@somerset.gov.uk

Requests from the police and other agencies to access personal information held by Somerset Council

Under Schedule 2 Part 1 Paragraphs 2, 3 and 5 of the Data Protection Act 2018 the local authority is able to disclose information to the police and other agencies for specified purposes where it is required for:

  • The prevention or detection of crime
  • The apprehension or prosecution of offenders
  • The assessment or collection of tax, duty or imposition of a similar nature.

Or where:

  • disclosure of the data is required by an enactment, a rule of law or an order of a court or tribunal
  • it is necessary for the purpose of, or in connection with, legal proceedings (including prospective legal proceedings), for the purpose of obtaining legal advice, or is otherwise necessary for the purposes of establishing, exercising or defending legal rights.

Disclosure is not automatic. We assess requests on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the reason for the request and whether disclosure is both proportionate and necessary to the purpose.

See the Information Commissioners Office guidance about exemptions. It includes reasons we must take into consideration when deciding whether to release information to relevant authorities.

Make a Schedule 2 Data Protection Act 2018 request

If you are a member of the public, you should not use this form. You should make a Subject Access Request to access your information, or another person’s (with their consent). To do this please ‘Apply to see personal information’ using the button above.

If you are the Police or another organisation, please use either your own official form or fill in the Schedule 2 disclosure request form.

Sign the form and make sure the request is authorised by a senior officer of the rank of sergeant or above (Police) or Chief Executive (other organisation).

Email the form to informationgovernance@somerset.gov.uk

If you are asking us to disclose information about a party who is not an alleged perpetrator, we require a signed consent form from your organisation.

Last reviewed: March 28, 2023 by Paul

Next review due: September 28, 2023

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