Privacy Policy

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Disclaimer

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Citizens Advice Leeds Privacy Policy for Clients

At Citizens Advice Leeds 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 commercial organisations

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.

You can check the Citizens Advice national policy for how we handle most of your personal information www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/citizens-advice-privacy-policy/your-information/

This policy covers how Citizens Advice Leeds handles your information locally in our offices.

WHEN YOU GET ADVICE FROM Citizens Advice Leeds TELEPHONE, EMAIL OR WEBCHAT SERVICES

We’ll always ask for your permission to collect and process your information and we’ll explain how we use your information.

What information we ask for
We ask for information that’s relevant to your problem. Depending on what you want help with, this might include:

your name and contact details – so we can keep in touch with you about your case
personal information – for example about health, family, work, or financial circumstances

We also ask for personal information like your ethnicity, health or sexual orientation. This is to help us ensure that our services are accessible to everyone that might need our help. If you don’t want to give us this information, you don’t have to.

How we use your information
The main reason we ask for your information is to help solve your problem.

We only access your information for other reasons if we really need to – for example:

  • for training and quality purposes
  • to investigate complaints
  • to get feedback from you about our services
  • to help us improve our services

All advisers and staff accessing data have had data protection training to make sure your information is handled sensitively and securely.

Understanding people’s problems
We use some information to create statistics and case studies about who we’re helping and what problems are the most common. This information is always anonymised – you can’t be identified.

We share these statistics and case studies with funders, regulators, government departments and publicly on our blogs, reports, social media and press releases.

The statistics also inform our policy research, campaigns, or media work.

When we share your information with other organisations
With your permission, we might share your information with other organisations to help solve your problem or to monitor the quality of our services.

Organisations we share your data with must store and use your data in line with data protection law.

Sharing information to solve your problem

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.

If you ask us to act on your behalf we might need to share some of your information with other organisations – we’ll always tell you when we do this. For example if we contact your creditors about your debts, we might need to share your name, address and financial details with them.

If we refer you to another organisation for more advice, we might share information about your problem with them so they can help you more quickly.

Monitoring our quality of service
With your permission, we’ll store your contact details so we can contact you for feedback on your experience with us.

If we’re concerned about your or someone else’s safety

If something you’ve told us makes us think you or someone you know might be at serious risk of harm, we could tell the police or social services – for example if we think you might hurt yourself or someone else.

If you’re the client of a different service and they refer you to Citizens Advice Leeds for advice
With your consent, your personal information is shared securely with us from the organisation that previously helped you. That organisation will have their own policy on how they use, store and share your data.

If you contact us for help via webchat or email
In most cases, as well as logging your email advice request form and webchat transcripts in our case management systems, copies are also stored in an online system run by our trusted partner Callhandling. It’s stored for 3 months before being deleted.

The system is run by our trusted partner Callhandling.

Callhandling keep anonymised statistics on webchat data in an archive so they can track webchat usage and performance. This data doesn’t contain your personal information.

Callhandling store their data securely within the European Economic Area (EEA) in line with data protection law.
Emails between you and your adviser will be deleted once acted on.

If you contact us for telephone advice
When you call you’ll hear a recorded message telling you how we use and store your information – you can let the adviser know if you disagree.

If you leave a voicemail messages it will be stored in an online system run by Callhandling and will be deleted after 3 months.

How Citizens Advice Leeds stores your information

Your information will be stored on an online system called Casebook that is managed nationally by Citizens Advice. You can find information about how Citizens Advice manages information securely at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/citizens-advice-privacy-policy/your-information/

In addition a small amount of information may be kept temporarily by Citizens Advice Leeds in electronic or paper formats until it is transferred into Casebook. Once information has been entered into Casebook local electronic and paper files will be deleted/confidentially destroyed.

If you’ve been contacted to help with research, campaigns or news – our privacy policy
If we’ve contacted you for help with research, campaigns or media work, we’ll have collected information from you by either:

  • talking with you over the phone, face to face or by email
  • accessing your records on our case management system – if you’ve got advice from us before

We’ll always tell you how we’ll use your information and ask your permission. For example, by signing a paper consent form, giving agreement over the phone or ticking a box online.

If we want to record an interview with you, we’ll ask.

What information we ask for

We only ask for the information we need to tell your story or inform our research. Depending on how we want you to help us, this might include information about:

  • your situation like family, work or financial circumstances – and how it affects you
  • how you use Citizens Advice and other organisations’ services – and what you thought about them
  • your name and contact details – so we can keep in touch with you
  • demographic information like your gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation

If you don’t want to give us some personal details, you don’t have to.

How we use and share your information

When we contact you we’ll explain how we want to use your information – for example, we might want to:

  • ask you to share your story with the media
  • include your information in a report or blog as part of our research and campaigns, or media work
  • use your information to improve our services

If we’re sharing your story publicly, you can stay anonymous if you want to – we’ll change some details of your story to make sure you can’t be identified.

We might share your information with government or industry regulators as part of our campaigns and policy work. Organisations we share your data with must store and use it in line with data protection law – they can’t pass it on or sell it without your permission. We only access your information for other reasons if we really need to – for example, to investigate complaints.

All staff accessing data have done data protection training to make sure your information is handled sensitively and securely.

Storing your information

Copies of your records and any new interview notes are kept securely on our internal systems. We keep your data for up to 6 years. If your case has been subject to a serious complaint, insurance claim or other dispute we keep the data for 16 years.

Citizens Advice Leeds has a complaints handling procedure, please email complaints@leedscab.org.uk to request a copy of the complaints leaflet to be either posted or emailed to you.

If you make a complaint about our service – our privacy policy
If you make a complaint, we collect personal information from you so we can help deal with your complaint.

We collect your information from you via phone, email, online form or letter – depending on how you complain.

If someone contacts us on your behalf about a complaint we’ll get your permission before we log any of your information.

What information we ask for
So we can help you with your complaint, we need to know:

  • your name
  • one way we can get in touch with you – email, phone or address
  • details of the complaint

You don’t have to tell us, but we’ll also ask you about your:

  • address
  • phone number
  • email
  • problem – for example, whether you wanted help with debt or housing

If you tell us you’ve a disability or support need, we’ll also make a note of that so we can help you access our services.

If your complaint is about advice you received, we might need to look at the information we’ve recorded about your problem.

How we use your information

We use the information you give us to deal with your complaint. We’ll only access your information for other reasons if we really need to – for example:

  • for training and quality purposes
  • to include anonymised complaint statistics in internal reports

All staff accessing data have done data protection training to make sure your information is handled sensitively and securely.

When we share your data

If you escalate your complaint to Citizens Advice or an external independent adjudicator, we’ll share your complaint information with them.

If your complaint involves an insurance claim, we might share details of your complaint with our insurer, ADS.

Storing your information

We’ll store your information securely on our internal systems.

We keep your data for at least 6 years. If your complaint is serious or involves an insurance claim or other dispute we keep the data for 16 years.

Contact Citizens Advice Leeds about your information

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

SIRO
Citizens Advice Leeds
Westminster Buildings
31 New York Street
Leeds
LS2 7DT

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 to stop using your information

When we use your information without permission

In most cases, we’ll get your permission to collect, use, store and share your information.

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, called ‘legal obligation’ – for example, if a court orders us to share information
  • to protect someone’s life, called ‘vital interests’ – for example, sharing information with a paramedic if a client was unwell at our office
  • to carry out our aims and goals as an organisation, called ‘legitimate interests’ – for example, to create anonymous case studies and statistics for our national research
  • for us to carry out a task in the public interest or for our official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law, called ‘public task’
  • to carry out a contract we have with you, called ‘contract’ – for example, if you’re an employee we might need to store your bank details so we can pay you
  • to defend our legal rights – for example, to resolve a complaint that we gave the wrong advice

Who’s responsible for looking after your personal information

The national Citizens Advice charity and Citizens Advice Leeds 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.

Note: This privacy policy only covers this website www.CitizensAdviceLeeds.org.uk; other websites linked from this website are not covered by this policy. Once you have accessed another website via one of our links you will be subject to the security and privacy policy of that site.