General Data Protection Regulation policy
Context and overview
- Policy prepared by: Emma Appleton
- Approved by: Colin Breckenridge
- Policy became operational on: 1st December 2017
- Next review date: 30th May 2019
Breckenridge needs to gather and use certain information about individuals.
These can include customers, suppliers, business contacts, employees and other people the organisation has a relationship with or may need to contact.
This policy describes how this personal data must be collected, handled and stored to meet the company’s data protection standards – and to comply with the law.
Why this policy exists
This data protection policy ensures Breckenridge:
- Complies with data protection law and follows good practice
- Protects the rights of staff, customers and partners
- Is open about how it stores and processes individuals’ data
- Protects itself from the risks of a data breach
Data protection law
The Data Protection Act 1998 and GDPR policy describes how organisations – including Breckenridge – must collect, handle and store personal information.
These rules apply regardless of whether data is stored electronically, on paper or on other materials.
To comply with the law, personal information must be collected and used fairly, stored safely and not disclosed unlawfully.
The Data Protection Act is underpinned by 8 important principles. These say that personal data must be:
- Be processed fairly and lawfully
- Be obtained only for specific, lawful purposes
- Be adequate, relevant and not excessive
- Be accurate and kept up to date
- Not to be held for any longer than necessary
- Processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects
- Be protected in appropriate ways
- Not be transferred outside the European Economic Area (EEA), unless that country or territory also ensures an adequate level of protection
People, risks and responsibilities
This policy applies to:
- The head office of Breckenridge
- All staff and volunteers of Breckenridge
- All contractors, freelance, suppliers and other people working on behalf of Breckenridge
It applies to all data that the company holds relating to identifiable individuals, even if that information technically falls outside of the Data Protection Act 1998. This can include:
- Names of individuals
- Postal addresses
- Email addresses
- Telephone numbers
- Data on websites hosted by Breckenridge
Data protection risks
This policy helps to protect Breckenridge from some very real data security risks, including:
- Breaches of confidentiality. For instance, information being given out inappropriately.
- Failing to offer choice. For instance, all individuals should be free to choose how the company uses data relating to them.
- Reputational damage. For instance, the company could suffer if hackers successfully gained access to sensitive data.
Notification of a personal data breach to the supervisory authority:
- In the case of a personal data breach, the data controller shall without undue delay and, where feasible, not later than 72 hours after having become aware of it, notify the personal data breach to the supervisory authority competent in accordance with Article 55, unless the personal data breach is unlikely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons.
- The data processor shall notify the data controller without undue delay after becoming aware of a personal data breach.
- The notification referred to in paragraph 1 shall at least:
A – describe the nature of the personal data breach including where possible, the categories and approximate number of data subjects concerned and the categories and approximate number of personal data records concerned;
B – Communicate the name and contact details of the data protection officer or other contact point where more information can be obtained;
C – Describe the likely consequences of the personal data breach;
D – Describe the measures taken or proposed to be taken by the controller to address the personal data breach, including, where appropriate, measures to mitigate its possible adverse effects.
- Where, and in so far as, it is not possible to provide the information at the same time, the information may be provided in phases without undue further delay.
- The data controller shall document any personal data breaches, comprising the facts relating to the personal data breach, its effects and the remedial action taken. That documentation shall enable the supervisory authority to verify compliance with Art. 33 GDPR
Everyone who works for or with Breckenridge has some responsibility for ensuring data is collected, stored and handled appropriately.
Each team that handles personal data must ensure that it is handled and processed in line with this policy and data protection principles.
However, these people have key areas of responsibility:
- The board of Directors is ultimately responsible for ensuring that Breckenridge meets its legal obligations.
- The data protection officer – Emma Appleton, is responsible for:
Keeping the Directors updated about data protection responsibilities, risks and issues, with the added assistance from the Development department.
Reviewing all data protection procedures and related policies, in line with an agreed schedule.
Arranging data protection training and advise for the people covered by this policy.
Handling data protection questions from staff and anyone else covered by this policy.
Dealing with requests from individuals to see the data Breckenridge holds about them (also called ‘subject access requests’)
Checking and approving any contracts or agreements with third parties that may handle the company’s sensitive data.
- The IT Manager – David Essery, is responsible for:
Ensuring all systems, services and equipment used for storing data meet acceptable security standards
Performing regular checks and scans to ensure security hardware and software is functioning properly.
Evaluating any third-party services the company is considering using to store or process data. For instance, cloud computing services.
- The PR Director – Angela Breckenridge, is responsible for:
Approving any data protection statements attached to communications such as emails and letters.
Addressing any data protection queries from journalists or media outlets like newspapers.
Where necessary, working with other staff to ensure marketing initiatives abide by data protection principles.
General staff guidelines
- The only people able to access data covered by this policy should be those who need it for their work.
- Data should not be shared informally. When access to confidential information is required, employees can request it from their Line Managers.
- Breckenridge will provide training to all employees to help them understand their responsibilities when handling data.
- Employees should keep all data secure, by taking sensible precautions and following the guidelines below.
- In particular, strong passwords must be used and they should never be shared outside the company.
- Personal data should not be disclosed to unauthorised people, either within the company or externally.
- Data should be regularly reviewed and updated if it is found to be out of date. If no longer required, it should be deleted and disposed of.
- Employees should request help from their Line Manager or the data protection officer if they are unsure about any aspect of data protection.
These rules describe how and where data should be safely stored. Questions about storing data safely can be directed to the IT Manager or data controller.
When data is stored on paper, it should be kept in a secure place where unauthorised people cannot see it.
These guidelines also apply to data that is usually stored electronically but has been printed out for some reason:
- When not required, the paper or files should be kept in a locked drawer or filing cabinet
- Employees should make sure paper and printouts are not left where unauthorised people could see them, like on a printer.
- Data printouts should be shredded when possible and disposed of securely when no longer required.
When data is stored electronically, it must be protected from unauthorised access, accidental deletion and malicious hacking attempts:
- Data should be protected by strong passwords that are changed regularly and never shared between employees.
- If data is stored on removable media (like a CD, DVD, USB stick) these should be kept locked away securely when not being used.
- Data should only be stored on designated drives and servers, and should only be uploaded to an approved cloud computing services.
- Servers containing personal data should be sited in a secure location, away from general office space.
- Data should be backed up frequently. Those backups should be tested regularly, in line with the company’s standard backup procedures.
- Data should never be saved directly to laptops or other mobile devices like tablets or smart phones.
- All servers and computers containing data should be protected by approved security software and a firewall.
Personal data is of no value to Breckenridge unless the business can make use of it. However, it is when personal data is accessed and used that it can be at the greatest risk of loss, corruption or theft:
- When working with personal data, employees should ensure the screens of their computers are always locked when left unattended.
- Personal data should not be shared informally. In particular, it should never be sent by email, as this form of communication is not secure.
- Data must be encrypted before being transferred electronically. The IT manager can explain how to send data to authorised external contacts.
- Personal data should never be transferred outside of the European Economic Area.
- Employees should not save copies of personal data to their own computers. Always access and update the central copy of any data.
- If more than one external email address is being sent to, ensure that the emails are BCC so that email addresses aren’t shared if consent hasn’t been given.
The law requires Breckenridge to take reasonable steps to ensure data is kept accurate and up to date.
The more important it is that the personal data is accurate, the greater the effort Breckenridge should put into ensuring its accuracy.
It is the responsibility of all employees who work with data to take reasonable steps to ensure it is kept as accurate and up to date as possible.
- Data will be held in as few places as necessary. Staff should not create any unnecessary additional data sets.
- Staff should take every opportunity to ensure data is updated. For instance, by confirming a customer’s details when they call.
- Breckenridge will make it easy for data subjects to update the information Breckenridge holds about them. For instance, via the company website.
- Data should be updated as inaccuracies are discovered. For instance, if a customer can no longer be reached on their stored telephone number, it should be removed from the database.
- It is the Directors responsibility to ensure marketing databases are checked against industry suppression files every six months.
Third Party Data Storage
These guidelines should be met to maintain the security of Breckenridge’s information systems and data when Breckenridge enters into any arrangement with a third party.
Scope – this should be understood by any member of Breckenridge who seeks to source a service from a third party that would give them direct access to Breckenridge and clients data. This may involve the service run on systems outside of Breckenridge in the cloud or where support agreements give the third party access to Breckenridge’s systems.
Managing outsourcing risks – Prior to outsourcing or allowing third party access to Breckenridge and clients non-public information or systems, the risks involved must be clearly identified and documented. A review of the risks should be taken by at least one other person and a Director should document that the risks identified are acceptable to Breckenridge.
Formal outsourcing – Where a service is formally sourced a process must be contractually in place to ensure that information security standards are in place, maintained and reported on. A duty to report any breaches in security should be formally included in any contract and the frequency and timelines or reports should be included within any contract.
Due diligence – The process of selecting a third party service provider must include due diligence of the third party in question, a review of any proposed terms and conditions along with their Data Policy to ensure that Breckenridge is not exposed to undue risk.
Contractual issues – All third parties who are given access to Breckenridge’s non-public information or systems must agree to the following terms in an agreement;
- Compliance with Breckenridge’s Data Protection Policy
- Appropriate provisions to ensure the continued security of information and systems in the event that a contract is terminated or transferred to another supplier; and
- Confidentiality obligations where a third party is given access to Breckenridge’s non-public information
- Full auditing of all actions
Personal Data – A privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) is essential at the outset of any project that will potentially involve personal data being accessed by a third party. A comparison between a potential cloud service and an onsite service should be included if an onsite offering is available. Any outsourcing arrangement involving the transfer of personal data to a third party must include the acceptance of Breckenridge’s standard personal data processing terms.
If outsourcing involves the transfer or personal data outside the European Economic Area (EEA), it must only be to a country or territory that ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data. The European Commission provides a list of countries it has deemed to provide an adequate level of protection. Transfers to the USA can no longer be automatically approved following the ruling regarding the US EU safe Harbour scheme. The ICO states that it may be possible to make transfers if Model Contract.
Informal outsourcing – Commercial and free cloud providers offer convenience and simplicity for services such as email and storage. However, there are risks to their use and it is important that these are understood so that sensible decisions can be made about the suitability of their use for any given purpose.
Unlike formal outsourcing where Breckenridge negotiates the terms and conditions of a contract and carries out formal assessments and retains rights of intellectual property, users of the free services must accept the provider’s terms and conditions. Breckenridge cannot ensure that confidentiality, integrity and availability of the information without a formal agreement in place. If there are legal or reputational consequences should the information you are storing be lost, stolen, or seen by unauthorised persons or organisations, you should not use a cloud service provider to store, transmit or process it. The storage of personal data with such providers is likely to be a breach of the Data Protection Act for which Breckenridge could be penalised by the Information Commissioner.
Cloud Security Alliance - https://downloads.cloudsecurityalliance.org/assets/research/pla/downloads/2015_05_28_PrivacyLevelAgreementV2_FINAL_JRS5.pdf
Cloud Controls Matrix - https://cloudsecurityalliance.org/group/cloud-controls-matrix//#downloads
European Union Agency for Networking and Information Security - https://www.enisa.europa.eu/publications/cloud-computing-risk-assessment
Subject access requests
All individuals who are the subject of personal data held by Breckenridge are entitled to:
- Ask what information the company holds about them and why.
- Ask how to gain access to it.
- Be informed how to keep it up to date
- Be informed how the company is meeting its data protection obligations.
If an individual contacts the company requesting this information, this is called a subject access request.
Subject access requests from individuals should be made by email, addressed to the data controller at firstname.lastname@example.org
Individuals will not be charged for this service under the GDPR regulation. The data controller will aim to provide the relevant data within 14 days.
The data controller will always verify the identity of anyone making a subject access request before handing over any information, this will be done by emailing or telephoning using the data information kept on that individual.
Disclosing data for other reasons
In certain circumstances, the Data Protection Act allows personal data to be disclosed to law enforcement agencies without the consent of the data subject.
Under these circumstances, Breckenridge will disclose requested data. However, the data controller will ensure the request is legitimate, seeking assistance from the Directors and from the company’s legal advisers where necessary.
Breckenridge aims to ensure that individuals are aware that their data is being processed, and that they understand:
- How the data is being used
- How to exercise their rights
To these ends, the company has a privacy statement, setting out how data relating to individuals is used by the company.
Right to be forgotten
Data Subjects hold the right to request that his/her personal data is removed from our systems, provided that there is NO legitimate grounds for keeping it. The person who wishes to have their data deleted from our systems, will need to email this request to email@example.com. Upon receiving this email, they will be informed that their data has been deleted from our system/s and they will be advised that Breckenridge can not guarantee contact will not be made again due to the fact that they have requested complete deletion of the data, it will be advised that using ‘unsubscribe’ facilities would be more suitable so they are not contacted in future.
Breckenridge comply with the ICO’s code of practice