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
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 UK Data Protection law.
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
We’ll get your permission by asking you to either:
- sign our client and permission form
- tick a box online
- give agreement over the phone – if you call our Advice line service
- What Citizens Advice Sefton asks for. To find out what information we ask for, see Citizens Advice policy
- How Citizens Advice Sefton uses your information. To find out how we use your information, see Citizens Advice 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.
We might commonly share information with Sefton Council when you give us authority to act on your behalf, or with your landlord, or the DWP. We would only do this if you provide us with specific authority to do so.
How Citizens Advice Sefton store your information
Whether you get advice face to face, over the phone, by email or our adviser will log all your information, correspondence, and notes about your problem into our secure case management systems. Some of your information might also be kept within our secure email and IT systems. We keep your information for 6 years. If your case has been subject to a serious complaint, insurance claim or other dispute we keep the data for 16 years.
Our case management systems are hosted within the EEA and wherever possible, the UK.
Most of our trusted partners store their data securely within the European Economic Area (EEA) in line with data protection law.
How Citizens Advice Sefton share your information
During the course of working with you we may need to share informationwith another party, we will only do this if your provide authority and if we have a data sharing agreement with the agency. To find out more see Citizens Advice policy
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
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.