When we record and use your personal information we:
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:
We handle and store your personal information in line with the law – including the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018.
Legal Advice Centre processes personal data relating to our clients in giving advice or information. We will always obtain your consent before collecting your data and will ensure transparency to ensure so we meet our obligations as a Data Controller, under data protection regulation.
We’ll ask you for information about yourself and your enquiry when you call us, visit us or fill out a form on our web site. We’ll get your permission to collect and use this information by asking you to either:
Before we ask for your permission, we’ll always explain how we use your information.
If you’ve been referred to us from another service or organisation such as your Housing Association or the Council or another local charity, they’ll send us your information using a referral form (paper or on-line) or by telephoning us. They’ll get your permission before sending us your information.
We need to record information about you to help with your enquiry. We have a legitimate interest to do this.
Other times, we need your explicit consent to collect some information, including your ethnicity, religion, health conditions, sexual orientation, trade union membership and political opinion.
If you agree, we’ll use this information, which is known as ‘special category personal data’ to:
We’ll make sure all your information is kept safe in our secure case management system.
We only ask for information that’s relevant to your problem. Depending on what you want help with this might include:
If you don’t want to give us certain information, you don’t have to. For example, if you want to stay anonymous we’ll only record information about your problem and make sure you’re not identified.
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:
All staff & volunteers accessing data have had data protection training to make sure your personal information is handled safely and securely.
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 commonly share information with the Department for Work and Pensions (Job Centre Plus), local housing associations, charities offering grants, Tower Hamlets Council, banks, building societies and organisations that you may owe money to. Any information will only be sent with your consent.
Whether you get advice face to face, over the phone, by email or face to face, 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. Our IT systems include file servers based at our offices and on Microsoft Office 360 servers.
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. Most of our trusted partners store their data securely within the European Economic Area (EEA) in line with data protection law.
Legal Advice Centre is an independent charity.
As stated above, we need to share information with third parties in order to help you. We’ll ask you to give us your authority to do this and sign a form to state this.
We share your information by post, telephone and by secure e-mail and password protected documents.
Also, we will share anonymous information about people we assist in the form or statistics and case-studies/stories with our funders and commissioners and in reports about our service and the issues we deal with. We take steps to ensure that in case studies the subject of the story cannot be identified.
We may sometimes ask you for your explicit consent for your story and your name to be shared – for instance as part of a campaign to highlight a social policy problem or need for change.
The Legal Advice Centre operate a system called Case Management System (CMS) to keep your personal information safe. We are a ‘data controller’ for your personal information that’s stored in our CMS.