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Privacy Policy

Citizens Advice Sefton Data Privacy Policy 

At Citizens Advice we collect and use your personal information to help solve your problems, improve our services, and tackle wider issues in society that affect people’s lives. 

We only ask for the information we need. We always let you decide what you’re comfortable telling us, explain why we need it and treat it as confidential. 

When we record and use your personal information, we: 

  • only access it when we have a good reason 
  • only share what is necessary and relevant 
  • don’t sell it to anyone 

We collect and use the details you give us so we can help you. We have a ‘legitimate interest’ to do this under data protection law. This means it lets us carry out our aims and goals as an organisation. We’ll always explain how we use your information. 

Coronavirus: Test and Trace if you get advice in person 

If you get advice in person we’ll ask for your: 

  • name  
  • email address or telephone number 

We’ll keep this information in our secure case management system.  

We might be asked to share your name, contact details and the date of your visit with Test and Trace or local public health organisations.  This is to help track cases of coronavirus.  They might contact you if they think you’re at risk after your visit. For example because someone getting advice at the same time has tested positive for coronavirus. You can find out more about Test and Trace in England on GOV.UK  

We’ll never share information about the reason for your visit. 

If you can’t give contact details, for example if it’s not safe for you to do so, we’ll still be able to give you advice in person. 

Unlike most situations, we won’t ask for your consent before we share your contact details. If you don’t want us to share this information you can tell your local office, you want to opt out. 

We’re doing this to help keep you and the public safe, this is a ‘legitimate interest’ of Citizens Advice.  

We won’t share your contact details with anyone other than Test and Trace or a local public health organisation. 

If we share your information, we’ll let you know, and offer further support. 

At times we might use or share your information without your permission. If we do, we’ll always make sure there’s a legal basis for it. This could include situations where we have to use or share your information: 

  • to comply with the law – for example, if a court orders us to share information. This is called ‘legal obligation’ 
  • to protect someone’s life – for example, sharing information with a paramedic if a client was unwell at our office. This is called ‘vital interests’ 
  • to carry out our legitimate aims and goals as a charity – for example, to create statistics for our national research. This is called ‘legitimate interests’ 
  • for us to carry out a task where we’re meeting the aims of a public body in the public interest – for example, delivering a government or local authority service. This is called ‘public task’ 
  • to carry out a contract we have with you – for example, if you’re an employee we might need to store your bank details so we can pay you. This is called ‘contract’ 
  • to defend our legal rights – for example, sharing information with our legal advisors if there was a complaint that we gave the wrong advice 

We handle and store your personal information in line with the law – including the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018. 

You can check our main Citizens Advice policy for how we handle most of your personal information.  

This page covers how we, as your local charity, handle your information locally in our offices. 

How Citizens Advice Sefton collect your data 

Using our Money Advice WhatsApp 

When you first contact us via WhatsApp, we will send you a message to explain about data privacy and consent to store your details.  We then store your details on our secure case management system and delete any WhatsApp messages relating to you. We have a ‘legitimate interest’ to do this under data protection law. 

Using our local debt phoneline 

When you telephone our local debt number there is a recorded message that will explain about data privacy and consent to store your details.  Once we have made contact with you, we will delete all voicemail messages relating to you.  We have a ‘legitimate interest’ to do this under data protection law. 

If you apply to us for a job or to be a volunteer 

When you complete an application for a job vacancy or to be a volunteer the information being processed and stored is for the purpose of recruitment and selection at Citizens Advice Sefton.  We store this information in our secure cloud-based storage and paper files in a secure filing cabinet.  We keep this information for 12months and after that date it is securely destroyed. 

For our other services, see our national Citizens Advice privacy policy 

What Citizens Advice Sefton ask for 

‘To find out what information we ask for,  

How Citizens Advice Sefton use your information 

‘To find out how we use your information, see our national Citizens Advice privacy policy 

Working on your behalf 

When you give us authority to act on your behalf, for example to help you with a Universal Credit claim, we’ll need to share information with that third party, for example; 

  • Sefton Council  
  • Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) 
  • One Vision Housing  
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) 
  • Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs  
  • Crosby Housing Association  
  • United Utilities  
  • Gas and electric suppliers 

How Citizens Advice Sefton store your information  

Client information is stored in accordance with national Citizens Advice policy on Casebook. 

 Non client data is stored in our secure cloud-based storage Microsoft O365 and any paper files which have not been scanned into the system will be kept in locked filing cabinets.  

How Citizens Advice Sefton share your information 

We share information about you with organisations we refer people to, or organisations we send client data to as part of our advice service, this includes the organisations below.  We will ask for your consent before we refer you or send your data to.  If you see us face to face you sign a client consent form, if you contact us by telephone or WhatsApp, after listening to or reading our Privacy Notice your continued use of these services indicate your consent for us to collect and store your information.  

  • Sefton Council  
  • Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) 
  • One Vision Housing  
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) 
  • Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs  
  • Crosby Housing Association  
  • United Utilities  
  • Gas and electric suppliers 
  • Sefton Advocacy 
  • Stepchange 
  • Creditors such as credit cards, store cards, mortgage companies 

Contact Citizens Advice Sefton about your information 

If you have any questions about how your information is collected or used, you can contact our office: 

Telephone: 0151 282 5650 open Monday – Friday 9-5pm 

You can contact us to:  

  • find out what personal information we hold about you 
  • correct your information if it’s wrong, out of date or incomplete 
  • request we delete your information 
  • ask us to limit what we do with your data – for example, ask us not to share it if you haven’t asked us already  
  • ask us to give you a copy of the data we hold in a format you can use to transfer it to another service 
  • ask us stop using your information 

Who’s responsible for looking after your personal information 

The national Citizens Advice charity and your local Citizens Advice operate a system called Casebook to keep your personal information safe. This means they’re a ‘joint data controller’ for your personal information that’s stored in our Casebook system.  

Each local Citizens Advice is an independent charity, and a member of the national Citizens Advice charity. The Citizens Advice membership agreement also requires that the use of your information complies with data protection law.  

You can find out more about your data rights on the Information Commissioner’s website