Important changes to policy from January 2020
The UK left the EU on January 31, 2020. After the transition period, the UK will no longer be regulated domestically by the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Instead, the UK has passed its own version into law, known as the UK-GDPR (United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation) which took effect on Exit Day, 31 January 2020.
Now that the United Kingdom has left the European Union, the Withdrawal Agreement will be in effect until the end of the transition period, likely on December 31, 2020.
At the end of this period, the UK will formally be independent from the EU and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that has governed the processing of personal data in all member states since May 2018 will cease to apply domestically in the UK.
To avoid being classified by the European Union as a third country (i.e. a nation with a less than adequate level of data protection that disqualifies it to enjoy free flow of data with the EU), the new UK-GDPR therefore took effect on Exit Day January 31, 2020.
The new UK-GDPR will then sit alongside the European GDPR, which will still apply just as before to the UK up until December 31, 2020.
This means that there will be two GDPRs in effect that apply domestically to the UK in 2020, in addition to the Data Protection Act 2018, of which an amended version also takes effect January 31, 2020.
The United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation (UK-GDPR) is essentially the same law as the European GDPR, only changed to accommodate domestic areas of law.
This means that the core definitions and legal terminology now famous from the European GDPR, such as personal data and the rights of data subjects, controller and processor and their need for legal bases for processing like prior consent are all to be found in the UK-GDPR.
UK-GDPR expands and changes the European GDPR
The areas expanded on by the UK-GDPR are:
- National security
- Intelligence services
These areas are per definition outside the scope of the European GDPR, since it is an extra-national regulation from the EU without powers to govern matters of national security in member states.
However, the UK-GDPR sets out certain exceptions by which the regular protection of personal data can be bypassed, e.g. when in matters of national security or in matters of immigration. It also applies the same requirements for collection and processing of personal data to the intelligence services.
Another big change in the UK-GDPR is that the Information Commissioner, the leading data protection authority in the UK today, will become the leading supervisor, regulator and enforcer of the UK-GDPR.
It means that where before under EU GDPR, the European Data Protection Board would have been the highest supervisory authority, the ICO now takes over all matters relating to regulation and enforcement of the UK-GDPR.
In fact, the Secretary can make these decisions without the consultation of the ICO.
Because of the extraterritorial scope of the UK-GDPR, any website or company in the world that collects or processes the personal data of individuals inside the UK, are bound to comply with the UK-GDPR.
This also means that e.g. EU companies offering services in the UK need to appoint a representative, as has been the case in reverse from the European GPDR.
A representative is defined in the UK-GDPR as “a natural or legal person established in the United Kingdom who represents the controller or processor.”
Furthermore, when the UK-GDPR came into effect on January 31, 2020, it automatically recognized all EU countries as adequate, along with recognizing all existing EU adequacy decisions as UK adequate as well (e.g. the US Privacy Shield).
And lastly, a notable difference from the European GDPR to the new domestic UK-GDPR is that the age of valid consent is lowered to 13 years in the UK (16 years in the EU).
Within Greatest Expectations
We are committed to a policy of protecting the rights and privacy of learners. Greatest Expectations is a “Data Processor” under guidelines from the Information Commissioners Office. This definition means:
“any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction”
We process information on behalf of New College Durham, NCFE, Pearson‘s, Good Things Foundation and Middlesbrough College. We need to process certain information to function as a business. This includes, but is not limited to:
- The recruitment, payment and continued professional development of its staff
- The administration of training courses
- Enrolment processes
- Examinations and external accreditation
- Recording learner progress, attendance and conduct
- Compliance with legal obligations, funding bodies and government
- To comply with various legal obligations
Greatest Expectations ensures that all this information about individuals is collected and used fairly, stored safely and securely, and not disclosed to any third party unlawfully.
This policy applies to all staff and learners of Greatest Expectations. Any breaches will be considered an offence and the company’s disciplinary procedures will be invoked.
As a matter of best practice, other agencies and individuals working with us and who have access to personal information will be expected to read and comply with this policy. It is expected that departments who are responsible for dealing with external bodies will take the responsibility for ensuring that such bodies sign a contract which among other things will include an agreement to abide by this policy.
This policy will be updated as necessary to reflect best practice in data management, security and control and to ensure compliance with any changes or amendments to the GDPR and other relevant legislation.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
GDPR regulates the processing of personal data, and protects the rights and privacy of all living individuals, for example by giving all individuals who are the subject of personal data a general right of access to the personal data which relates to them. Individuals can exercise the right to gain access to their information by means of a ‘subject access request’. Personal data is information relating to an individual and may be in hard or soft copy (paper/manual files; electronic records; photographs) and may include facts or opinions about a person.
Responsibilities under the GDPR – Data Protection Officer
Official guidelines state that a DPO need only be appointed if:
- You are a public authority (except for courts acting in their judicial capacity)
- Your core activities require large scale, regular and systematic monitoring of individuals (for example, online behaviour tracking)
- Your core activities consist of large scale processing of special categories of data or data relating to criminal convictions and offences
Greatest Expectations does not fall into these categories. If this changes in the future then appropriate steps will be taken to appoint a suitably trained person. Until then overall responsibility and contact for Data Protection remains with the management.
Data Protection Principles
The legislation places a responsibility on every data processor to abide by 8 key principles:
1) To process personal data fairly and lawfully.
2) To process the data for the specific and lawful purpose for which it collected that data and not further process the data in a manner incompatible with this purpose. Greatest Expectations will ensure that the reason for which it collected the data originally is the only reason for which it processes those data, unless the individual is informed of any additional processing before it takes place.
3) To ensure that the data is adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which it is processed. We will not seek to collect any personal data which is not strictly necessary for the purpose for which it was obtained. Forms for collecting data will always be drafted with this mind. If any irrelevant data are given by individuals, they will be destroyed immediately.
4) To keep personal data accurate and, where necessary, up to date. We will review and update all data on a regular basis. It is the responsibility of the individuals giving their personal data to ensure that this is accurate, and each individual should notify us if, for example, a change in circumstances mean that the data needs to be updated. It is the responsibility of Greatest Expectations to ensure that any notification regarding the change is noted and acted on.
5) To only keep personal data for as long as is necessary unless otherwise and specific terms are given in a contract situation. Greatest Expectations will undertake a regular review of the information held and implement a weeding process. We dispose of personal data in a way that protects the rights and privacy of the individual concerned (e.g. secure electronic deletion, shredding and disposal of hard copy files as confidential waste).
6) Process personal data in accordance with the rights of the data subject under the legislation. Individuals have various rights under the legislation including a right to:
- Be told the nature of the information the company holds and any parties to whom this may be disclosed.
- Prevent processing likely to cause damage or distress.
- Prevent processing for purposes of direct marketing.
- Be informed about the mechanics of any automated decision making process that will significantly affect them.
- Not have significant decisions that will affect them taken solely by automated process.
- Sue for compensation if they suffer damage by any contravention of the legislation.
- Take action to rectify, block, erase or destroy inaccurate data.
- Request that the Office of the Information Commissioner assess whether any provision of the Act has been contravened.
Greatest Expectations will only process personal data in accordance with individuals’ rights.
7) We will put appropriate technical and organisational measures in place against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data, and against accidental loss or destruction of data.
All members of staff are responsible for ensuring that any personal data which they hold is kept securely and not disclosed to any unauthorised third parties. We will ensure that all personal data is accessible only to those who have a valid reason for using it i.e. managers or manager discretion unless directly part of a staff member’s duties.
Greatest Expectations will have in place appropriate security measures – hard copy personal data is kept in lockable filing cabinets with controlled access as above, with the keys held securely in a key cabinet by manager.
- Keeping all personal data in a lockable cabinet with key-controlled access.
- Password protecting personal data held electronically.
- Archiving personal data which are then kept securely (lockable cabinet).
- Placing any PCs or terminals, CCTV camera screens etc. that show personal data so that they are not visible except to authorised staff.
- Ensuring that PC screens are not left unattended without a password protected screen-saver being used.
- In addition, we will put in place appropriate measures for the deletion of personal data – manual records will be shredded or disposed of as ‘confidential waste’ and appropriate contract terms will be put in place with any third parties undertaking this work. Hard drives of redundant PCs will be wiped clean before disposal or if that is not possible, destroyed physically
This policy also applies to staff who process personal data ‘off-site’, e.g. when working at home, and in circumstances additional care must be taken regarding the security of the data.
8) Ensure that no personal data is transferred to a country or a territory outside the European Economic Area (EEA) unless that country or territory ensures adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data.
Consent as a basis for processing
Although it is not always necessary to gain consent from individuals before processing their data, it is often the best way to ensure that data is collected and processed in an open and transparent manner. Consent is especially important when Greatest Expectations is processing any sensitive data, as defined by the legislation.
At registration we specifically ask learners permission to make contact in the future about further training or employment opportunities, asking their preferred method of contact. Greatest Expectations understands consent to mean that the individual has been fully informed of the intended processing and has signified their agreement (e.g. via the enrolment form) whilst being of a sound mind and without having any undue influence exerted upon them. Consent obtained on the basis of misleading information will not be a valid basis for processing. Consent cannot be inferred from the non-response to a communication.
Subject Access Rights (SARs)
Any individual wishing to exercise this right should apply in writing to William Guthrie. SAR requests to staff should also be forwarded to him. Such requests must be complied with within 40 days. Before processing any personal data, staff should consider the following checklist.
- Do you really need to record the information?
- Is the information “standard” or is it “sensitive”?
- If it is sensitive, do you have the data subject’s express consent?
- Has the learner been told that this type of data will be processed?
- Are you authorised to collect/store/process the data?
If yes, have you checked with the data subject that the data is accurate? Are you sure that the data is secure? If you do not have the data subject’s consent to process, are you satisfied that it is in the best interests of the learner or the staff member to collect and retain the data? Have you reported the fact of data collection to the authorised person within the required time?
Right to be forgotten:
Should an individual request their personal details be removed from our records we may undertake to do so only if we have no legal requirement to retain them. However we will remove their details from any marketing lists.
Disclosure of Data
Greatest Expectations undertakes not to disclose personal data to unauthorised third parties, including family members, friends, and government bodies and in some circumstances, the police.
Legitimate disclosures may occur in the following instances:
- The individual has given their consent to the disclosure.
- The disclosure has been notified to the OIC and is in the legitimate interests of the company.
- The disclosure is required for the performance of a contract.
In no circumstances will Greatest Expectations sell any of its databases to a third party.
Policy Date: June 2020
Review Date: June 2021