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  Privacy statement

16 June 2015

Please follow the links to the individual services you are receiving where a service specific privacy notice will provide further information regarding who we may share your information with and why.  

Why we use personal information?

Essex County Council may need to use some information about you to:
  • deliver services and support to you;
  • manage services;
  • train workers;
  • help investigate any worries or complaints you have about your services;
  • keep track of spending on services;
  • check the quality of services; and
  • help with research and planning of new services.
 

How can you access the information we hold about you?

We would normally expect to share what we record about you with you whenever we assess your needs or provide you with services. However, you also have the right to ask for all the information we have about you and your services. When we receive a request from you in writing, we must normally give you access to everything we have recorded about you.  However, we will not let you see any parts of your record which contain:
 
  • Confidential information about other people; or
  • Information a care professional thinks will cause serious harm to your or someone else’s physical or mental wellbeing.
 
This applies to paper and electronic records. If you ask us, we will also let others see your care record (except if one of the points above applies).  If you cannot ask for your records in writing, we will make sure there are other ways you can apply.
 

How can you request correction of inaccurate information?

You should let us know if you disagree with something written on your file. You may not always be able to change or remove the information. However, we will correct factual inaccuracies and may include your comments in the records. 
 
 

How do we keep information secure?

We will take appropriate steps to make sure we hold records about you (on paper and electronically) in a secure way, and we will only make them available to those who have a right to see them.  Our security includes:
  • Encryption
  • Access controls on systems
  • Security training for all staff
 

How long do we keep your personal information?

 
Please see our retention schedule which explains the retention period for all information held by the Local Authority
 

Who will we share your personal information with?  

Sometimes we have a legal duty to give information about people. This is often because we must give that information to courts, including:
 
  • when we take a child into care;
  • court orders; and
  • cases under mental health law.
 
We may also share your personal information when we feel there is a good reason that is more important than protecting your confidentiality. This does not happen often, but we may share your information:
 
  • if a serious crime has been committed;
  • if there are serious risks to the public, our 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.
 
The law does not allow us to share your information without your permission, unless there is proof that someone is at risk.
 
This risk must be identified as being serious before we can go against your right to confidentiality.  When we are worried about your physical safety or we feel that we need to take action to protect you from being harmed in other ways, we will discuss this with you and, if possible, get your permission to tell others about your situation.
 
We may still share your information if we believe the risk to others is serious enough to do so. 
 
There may also be rare occasions when the risk to others is so great that we need to share the information straight away. If this is the case, we will make sure that we record the information we share and our reasons for doing so.
 
We will let you know what we have done and why as soon as or if we think it is safe to do so.
Wherever possible we will only use anonymised, pseudonymised or de-personalised information.
 
We do not sell personal information to any other organisation for the purposes of direct marketing.
 

Cookies

To make this site simpler, we sometimes place small data files on your computer. These are known as cookies. Most big websites do this too.
 
They improve things by:
  • remembering settings, so you don’t have to keep re-entering them whenever you visit a new page
  • remembering information you’ve given (eg your postcode) so you don’t need to keep entering it
  • measuring how you use the website so we can make sure it meets your needs.
 
By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.   We do not use cookies on our main website that collect information about your browsing habits in order to make advertising relevant to you and your interests.
Our cookies aren’t used to identify you personally. They’re just here to make the site work better for you. Indeed, you can manage and/or delete these small files as you wish.
To learn more about cookies and how to manage them, visit AboutCookies.org or watch a video about cookies.

Measuring website usage (Google Analytics)

We use Google Analytics to collect information about how people use this site. We do this to make sure it’s meeting its users’ needs and to understand how we could do it better. 
 
Google Analytics stores information about what pages you visit, how long you are on the site, how you got here and what you click on. We do not collect or store your personal information (e.g. your name or address) so this information cannot be used to identify who you are.
 
 
Name Typical Content Expires
_utma randomly generated number 2 years
_utmb randomly generated number 30 minutes
_utmc randomly generated number when you close your browser
_utmx randomly generated number 2 years
_utmxx randomly generated number 2 years
_utmz randomly generated number and information on how the site was reached (e.g. direct or via a link, organic search or paid search)
 
 

We also collect information on the number of times particular search terms are used and the number of failed searches. We use this information to improve access to the site and to identify gaps in the information content so we can plan appropriate expansion of the system.
Unless the law allows us to, we do not:
  • share any of the information we collect about you with others
  • use this information to identify individuals.
 
 

Third party cookies

We use videos from YouTube and feeds from other websites such as Facebook and Twitter. These third party websites place cookies on your device when watching or viewing these pages.
 Below are links to their cookie policies:
  • Google and YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
 

Disabling cookies

 
You can stop cookies being downloaded on to your computer or other device by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser. If you do this, however, you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website.
 
There is more information about how to delete or stop using cookies on AboutCookies.org. If you wish, you can also opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics.
 
 
Further information on the use of personal information can be found at ico.org.uk
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