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News from Housing Proactive plus articles and insights on how to enhance outcomes for people with higher needs in the housing, health and social care sectors.
In its everyday business operations, Housing Proactive, a trading name of Alertacall Ltd, makes use of a variety of data about identifiable individuals, including data about:
In collecting and using this data, the organisation is subject to a variety of legislation controlling how such activities may be carried out and the safeguards that must be put in place to protect it.
The purpose of this policy is to set out the relevant legislation and to describe the steps Alertacall is taking to ensure that it complies with it.
This control applies to all systems, people and processes that constitute the organisation’s information systems, including board members, directors, employees, suppliers and other third parties who have access to Alertacall systems.
The General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR) is one of the most significant pieces of legislation affecting the way that Alertacall carries out its information processing activities. Significant fines are applicable if a breach is deemed to have occurred under the GDPR, which is designed to protect the personal data of citizens of the European Union. It is Alertacall’s policy to ensure that our compliance with the GDPR and other relevant legislation is clear and demonstrable at all times.
There are a total of 26 definitions listed within the GDPR and it is not appropriate to reproduce them all here. However, the most fundamental definitions with respect to this policy are as follows:
Personal data is defined as:
any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person;
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;
the natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data; where the purposes and means of such processing are determined by Union or Member State law, the controller or the specific criteria for its nomination may be provided for by Union or Member State law;
There are a number of fundamental principles upon which the GDPR is based.
These are as follows:
Personal data shall be:
The controller shall be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate compliance with, paragraph 1 (‘accountability’).
Alertacall will ensure that it complies with all of these principles both in the processing it currently carries out and as part of the introduction of any new methods of processing, such as new IT systems.
The data subject also has rights under the GDPR. These consist of:
Each of these rights are supported by appropriate procedures within Alertacall that allow the required action to be taken within the timescales stated in the GDPR.
Data subject request
|The right to be informed||When data is collected (if supplied by data subject) or within one month (if not supplied by data subject)|
|The right of access||One month|
|The right to rectification||One month|
|The right to erasure||Without undue delay|
|The right to restrict processing||Without undue delay|
|The right to data portability||One month|
|The right to object||On receipt of objection|
|Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling||Not specified|
There are six alternative ways in which the lawfulness of a specific case of processing of personal data may be established under the GDPR. It is Alertacall policy to identify the appropriate basis for processing and to document it, in accordance with the Regulation. The options are described in brief in the following sections.
Unless it is necessary for a reason allowable in the GDPR, Alertacall will always obtain explicit consent from a data subject to collect and process their data. In case of children below the age of 16 (a lower age may be allowable in specific EU member states) parental consent will be obtained. Transparent information about our usage of their personal data will be provided to data subjects at the time that consent is obtained and their rights with regard to their data explained, such as the right to withdraw consent. This information will be provided in an accessible form, written in clear language and free of charge.
If the personal data are not obtained directly from the data subject then this information will be provided to the data subject within a reasonable period after the data are obtained and definitely within one month.
Where the personal data collected and processed are required to fulfil a contract with the data subject, explicit consent is not required. This will often be the case where the contract cannot be completed without the personal data in question e.g. service cannot be provided without appropriate contact information.
If the personal data is required to be collected and processed in order to comply with the law, then explicit consent is not required. This may be the case for some data related to employment and taxation for example, and for many areas addressed by the public sector.
In a case where the personal data are required to protect the vital interests of the data subject or of another natural person, then this may be used as the lawful basis of the processing. Alertacall will retain reasonable, documented evidence that this is the case, whenever this reason is used as the lawful basis of the processing of personal data. As an example, this may be used in aspects of social care, particularly in the public sector.
Where Alertacall needs to perform a task that it believes is in the public interest or as part of an official duty then the data subject’s consent will not be requested. The assessment of the public interest or official duty will be documented and made available as evidence where required.
If the processing of specific personal data is in the legitimate interests of Alertacall and is judged not to affect the rights and freedoms of the data subject in a significant way, then this may be defined as the lawful reason for the processing. Again, the reasoning behind this view will be documented.
Alertacall has adopted the principle of privacy by design and will ensure that the definition and planning of all new or significantly changed systems that collect or process personal data will be subject to due consideration of privacy issues, including the completion of one or more data protection impact assessments.
The data protection impact assessment will include:
Use of techniques such as data minimization and pseudonymisation will be considered where applicable and appropriate.
Alertacall will ensure that all relationships it enters into that involve the processing of personal data are subject to a documented contract that includes the specific information and terms required by the GDPR. For more information, see the GDPR Controller-Processor Agreement Policy.
Alertacall does not, at this time, transfer personal data outside of the European Union.
If this were to change in the future, transfers of personal data outside the European Union will be carefully reviewed prior to the transfer taking place to ensure that they fall within the limits imposed by the GDPR. This depends partly on the European Commission’s judgement as to the adequacy of the safeguards for personal data applicable in the receiving country and this may change over time.
Intra-group international data transfers will be subject to legally binding agreements referred to as Binding Corporate Rules (BCR) which provide enforceable rights for data subjects.
A defined role of Data Protection Officer (DPO) is required under the GDPR if an organisation is a public authority, if it performs large scale monitoring or if it processes particularly sensitive types of data on a large scale. The DPO is required to have an appropriate level of knowledge and can either be an in-house resource or outsourced to an appropriate service provider.
Based on these criteria, Alertacall does not require a Data Protection Officer to be appointed. Alertacall’s Information Security Manager (ISM) assumes all Data Protection responsibilities.
It is Alertacall’s policy to be fair and proportionate when considering the actions to be taken to inform affected parties regarding breaches of personal data. In line with the GDPR, where a breach is known to have occurred which is likely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, the relevant supervisory authority will be informed within 72 hours. This will be managed in accordance with our Information Security Incident Response Procedure which sets out the overall process of handling information security incidents.
Under the GDPR the relevant supervisory authority has the authority to impose a range of fines for infringements of the regulations.
The following actions are undertaken to ensure that Alertacall complies at all times with the accountability principle of the GDPR:
These actions are reviewed on a regular basis as part of the management process concerned with data protection.