At Citizens Advice 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 anyone
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 and the Data Protection Act 2018.
You can check our main Citizens Advice policy for how we handle most of your personal information.
This page covers how we, as your local charity, handle your information locally in our offices.
How Citizens Advice Fareham collect your data
When you come to Citizens Advice Fareham we will ask you to complete our Client Permission and Consent Form. This form asks for some basic details about you (name, address, contact details and preferences).
The form also asks for some monitoring information (like how many people are in your household and your employment status) which is necessary to ensure we are giving you the correct advice based on your circumstances, but also for us to build up statistical data on who uses our service and whether some issues seem to affect one group of people more than others.
You can choose to give us as much or as little of the information we ask for as you feel comfortable.
The data you choose to give us we hold under the clause of ‘legitimate business use’ under GDPR legislation. This means that for the type of organisation we are - an advice giving charity - it is reasonable for us to want to store information about you like your name and contact details, in case we need to give you information about your issue that we cannot get on the day you come to see us.
It is also reasonable for us to want to gather statistical information to be able to campaign for change on issues that impact unfairly on our clients.
The form then has a sheet which asks you for permission to hold special category personal data about you. We ask everyone for some data that falls under the heading of special category data, for monitoring purposes. Everyone can choose whether they want to give us this information.
If you decide not to give us permission to hold information about your ethnicity or race, your sexual orientation, your political beliefs or religion, your health or whether you are a trade union member, then we cannot keep any of this data about you, even if it is relevant to your case.
If it becomes clear during your discussions with an adviser that it would be useful to hold some special category data about you, the adviser will explain this to you, and ask your permission again to record it. For example, if you wanted help with an application for PIP, which is a disability benefit, in order to keep a record of the help you were given, without permission to hold information about your health, our records would not be detailed.
What Citizens Advice Fareham ask for
How Citizens Advice Fareham use your information
Working on your behalf
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.
Depending on the type of the help you need, we might ask you for authority to contact Fareham Borough Council, local solicitors, the DWP or your doctor’s surgery for example.
We will be clear with you who it would be helpful for us to contact, why we want to contact a particular organisation and we will ask for your signed permission for each organisation separately - you will have a choice about each organisation.
How Citizens Advice Fareham store your information
The information you give us is stored on Citizens Advice national case management system, called Casebook.
We scan all the documents you give us copies of onto that system, and once we have done this we do not keep paper copies.
We avoid keeping any client records outside of Casebook.
How Citizens Advice Fareham share your information
We have explained that we may find it useful to contact organisations on your behalf, and that we will seek your authority to act on your behalf before we do this.
Sometimes organisations ask us for information about our clients. Unless we have your permission, if someone asks for information about you, we will not share any details, not even to confirm the fact that you had been to see us.
We do sometimes share information with our funders about experiences of our clients - but this is in an anonymous format, and no individual should ever be identifiable from the data we share in this way.
Contact Citizens Advice Fareham about your information
If you have any questions about how your information is collected or used, you can contact our office.
Telephone: 01329 237 121, open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
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 stop using your information
Who’s responsible for looking after your personal information
The national Citizens Advice charity and your local Citizens Advice 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.
Fareham Citizens Advice Service has a complaints handling procedure. Please email our administrators to request a copy of the complaints leaflet to be either posted or emailed to you.