What is personal information?
Personal information is anything that identifies and relates to a living person. This can include information that when put together with other information can identify a person. For example, this could be your name and contact details.
Some of your personal information might be known as special category information
Some information is more sensitive and therefore needs more protection. It’s often information you would not want widely known and is very personal to you. This is likely to include anything that can reveal your:
- criminal history
- genetic or biometric data
- physical or mental health
- political opinion
- religious or philosophical beliefs
- sexual health
- trade union membership
Why do we need your personal information?
We may need to use some information about you to:
- deliver services and support to you
- manage those services we provide to you
- train and manage the employment of our workers who deliver those services
- help investigate any worries or complaints you have about your services
- keep track of spending on services
- check the quality of services
- to help with research and planning of new services
- prevent and detect crime and fraud
We only use what we need
We only collect and use personal information if we need it to deliver a service or meet a requirement.
If we don’t need personal information we’ll either keep the information anonymous if we already have it for something else or we won’t ask you for it. For example in a survey we may not need your contact details.
If we use your personal information for research and analysis, we’ll always keep your information anonymous or use a different name unless you’ve agreed that your personal information can be used for that research.
We will not sell your personal information to anyone else.
How the law allows us to use your personal information
There are a number of legal reasons why we are allowed to collect and use your personal information. The reason why we are allowed to use the information is different for different council services.
The reasons we may use your personal information are set out below. You can also see
the rights you have when we use your personal information.
Article 6 / Schedule – Personal Information
Article 9 / Schedule Special category (Sensitive) Personal Information
|Employment, Social Security/Social Protection||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Not for Profit||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Substantial Public Interest||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|Health and Social Care||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Public Interest in Public Health||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Scientific/historical Research, Statistics or Public Archiving||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Additional considerations||None||None||None||Will always apply to
direct marketing||None||Will always apply to
direct marketing||Where it places a legal effect on an individual||Only where use of data is solely by automated means|
Legal condition explanations
More detail on when each legal basis may apply, please see the below.
- You, or your legal representative, have given
consent for us to use your personal information. If you have agreed (given your consent) to us to use your personal information, you have the right to ask us to stop using it at any time. If you wish to withdraw your consent, please contact
DPO@essex.gov.uk and tell us which service you’re using so we can deal with your request.
- We need the information because you have entered into a
contract with us
- We need to have the information to perform our
- We need to have the information to protect someone in an emergency (Vital Interests)
- We are required by law to do something and we need information about you in order to do this
- Is necessary for us to have the information to conduct our legitimate business for non-statutory services
Special (Sensitive) Personal Information:
- It is necessary for employment purposes
(Employment and Social Security)
- It is necessary to have the information in order to deliver
health or social care services
- You have made your information publicly available
(In the Public Domain)
- It is necessary to have your information to defend or make
- It is to the benefit of society as a whole
(Substantial Public Interest)
- It is necessary to protect
public health in the public interest
- It is necessary for
archiving, research, or statistical purposes