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Data Protection for Church of Scotland Congregations

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Presentation on theme: "Data Protection for Church of Scotland Congregations"— Presentation transcript:

1 Data Protection for Church of Scotland Congregations

2 How many of the following have happened to you?
You have received junk-mail which used your name and address. An unsolicited telesales call has been made to your home. Your bank has alerted you to ‘unusual’ activity in relation to your account. Your car has been ‘cloned’ and you have received speeding fines that you weren’t due.

3 Some questions that are worth asking:
How did these people get access, or why do they want access, to your personal data? Who else holds personal information about you? How might that information be used or misused? What rights do you have in relation to personal data and privacy?

4 Some reasons for having ‘Data Protection’ legislation
Information is… everywhere!

5 Some reasons for having ‘Data Protection’ legislation
To safeguard personal privacy. To prevent information about individuals from being used unfairly or fraudulently. To ensure that bodies which hold personal information respect confidentiality and observe good practice. To give individuals the right to know what information is held about them.

6 What does this mean for the Congregations?
The Church is a body which holds personal information about individuals. As office bearers you have an obligation to behave responsibly in relation to the information that is held. The Church must observe good practice and also abide by the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998, where it applies to use of personal data.

7 The Data Protection Act 1998 Key Themes
Transparency Choice Data Quality Security Individual rights

8 What is ‘Personal Data’?
Information Information which relates to a living individual identified: – from that data – from that data and other information which is or is likely to be in the possession of the Data Controller – held electronically or manually in a relevant filing system E.g. Name, job title, telephone number, address, date of birth, postal address.

9 Sensitive Personal Data
Personal Data consisting of information on: racial or ethnic origin political opinions religious or similar beliefs trade union details health data sexual orientation data offences or alleged offences court proceedings

10 Sensitive Personal Data
Before a congregation uses any data of this nature, the following conditions must be satisfied: EITHER the data must be used in the course of the congregation’s legitimate activities and be ‘not for profit’; the data must be used with appropriate safeguards for the rights and freedoms of the people concerned; the data must be restricted to those who are members or who have regular contact with the Church; and the data must not be disclosed to any third party. OR the data subjects must have given explicit consent for this particular use

11 Who are Data Subjects? The Individual to whom Personal Data relates, for example: An Employee A Job applicant A Former employee A Minister An Office Bearer A Committee Member A Church Member An adherent

12 Data Processing Processing is handling data in any way:
– collecting personal data; – storing in a database; – ordering in a filing system; – editing data records; – transmission onwards to a third party. A “Data Processor” any person or organisation who processes personal data on behalf of the data controller

13 Data Controller Data Controller: is a person or organisation that determines the purposes for which and the manner in which personal data will be processed. For congregations this is the Presbytery Clerk. It is necessary to notify the Information Commissioner on an annual basis. Small exemption for ‘not for profit’ organisation. But remember CCTV!

14 The Basics The Act does not prohibit the use or distribution of information, rather it governs the way information and people are treated.

15 protection principles?
The Basics What are the 8 data protection principles?

16 Data Protection Principles
Be processed fairly and lawfully; Be obtained for specific and lawful purposes; Be kept accurate and up to date; Be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which it is used;

17 Data Protection Principles
Not be kept for longer than is necessary for the purpose for which it is used; Be processed in accordance with the rights of Data Subjects; Be kept secure to prevent unauthorised processing and accidental loss, damage or destruction; and Not be transferred to any country outside the EEA.

18 Sanctions?

19 The Information Commissioner’s Office
“The UK’s Independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.” The ICO: Promotes good practice, Produces guidance on various topics, Makes rulings on complaints against organisations, and Takes action where there are breaches of the Act.

20 The Information Commissioner
Enforcement Notices Criminal Sanctions Fines – up to £500,000 Brighton and Sussex NHS Trust: £375,000 Ealing Council £80,000 Hounslow Council £70,000 A4e Limited £60,000 Norwood Ravenswood £70,000

21 Don’t get caught out!

22 Recommendations for Congregations
The ICO Study Areas of Good Practice: Areas for Improvement: Access to IT Building Security Confidential Waste Implement a Data Protection Policy Password security Clear Desk Policy Home working? IT Security features Training

23 Recommendations for Congregations

24 Recommendations for Congregations
Conduct an audit of your current data handling: Take time and care to draw up a list of all areas of Church life where personal data is held and used. For each of these, consider whether you can observe better practice in line with the eight principles, the areas of good practice and areas of improvement in the ICO Report. Always take special care over any data which would be classed as ‘sensitive’. Do not use data for any ‘broader’ purpose, without first consulting the Presbytery Clerk.

25 Recommendations for Congregations
Carry out a review of any historical records that your congregation holds, in either electronic or manual form. Archive any records that you are obliged to keep – e.g. minute books and baptismal registers. Consider deleting or destroying any records that are no longer required. Take care over how you dispose of these. Consider deleting any information that you would be embarrassed to disclose if you received a ‘data request’.


27 Any Questions?


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