Brighton & Hove City Council is committed to protecting your personal information. As a data controller we have a responsibility to make sure you know why and how your personal information is being collected in accordance with relevant data protection law.
The primary laws which govern how Brighton & Hove City Council collects and use personal information (known as “data”) about you are:
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Data Protection Act (DPA) (2018)
However, Housing is also subject to other specific laws which define when and for what purposes it can use your personal data.
Why we’re collecting your data
In order for the council to provide its many housing services throughout the city we must collect and process personal and special category data. What we use your data for will depend on your involvement with our Housing service.
If, for example, you are a council tenant then we must use your data to meet our obligations set out in the tenancy agreement, including providing support services, as well as ensuring you are meeting yours, which includes the managing of your rent account.
Those who have purchased their council property under the Right to Buy scheme will become a leaseholder, therefore, as the council still owns and manages the building we are required to hold data to fulfil our duties as a freeholder.
The council is also responsible for the licensing of houses of multiple occupancy as part of their work within private sector housing, which may include investigations and enforcement action and conducting immigration checks.
Some data may be analysed and modelled in order to provide insights about the prevalence and distribution of a range of housing factors including prevalence of private rented accommodation, housing hazards, HMOs and anti-social behaviour, which may be used to provide an evidence base to determine whether discretionary licensing schemes in the private rented sector could be introduced.
The Homemove team will also collect and process data in their role to allocate social housing according to the needs of those who apply. Data will be collected in order for the team to recognise the applicant’s housing needs, as only those who meet the requirements set out in the allocations policy are eligible for social housing.
Other areas of Housing include, but are not limited to:
- working with travellers
- supporting tenants into employment
- maintenance of council property
- dealing with anti-social behaviour and other criminality
- ensuring the sustainability of council property
- liaising with various resident groups and associations
- housing adaptations
- managing and maintenance of car parks and garages
Information may be collected and processed in order for the council to respond appropriately to any complaints, queries and claims received. Depending on the nature of this type of contact will depend on how the information is used, which may include using your information for any legal defence.
Data may be collated into statistics and reports, including from surveys, in order for us to monitor our performance which can help us make the necessary improvements to the services we provide. When possible your data will be anonymised in these situations.
The lawful basis for collecting your data
There are various lawful bases as to why we would collect and process data. Most commonly it will be done under performance of a contract. For example, a tenancy agreement.
We'll also process data due to a legal obligation or it may be necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller. We will collect and process data because of one of the following pieces of legislation:
- The Housing Act 1985, 1996 and 2004
- The Care Act 2014
- The Homeless Reduction Act 2017
- Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002
- Town and Country Planning Act 1990
- The Welfare Reform Act 2012
- Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016
- The Local Government Act 2003
- Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and policing Act 2014
- Mobile Homes Act 2013
- Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
- Building Regulations 2010
- Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015
- Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018
At times we may collect and process data because you have given your consent for us to do so. In most instances you will be asked to give your consent at the point of collection.
Sometimes it's also essential for us to collect special category data, and in these instances the lawful basis would fall under either:
- substantial public interest
- manifestly made public by the data subject
- explicit consent
The data we may collect
- contact details, including name, address, email address, telephone number
- date of birth
- proof of identity
- national identifiers, like National Insurance number
- information about your family
- social and personal circumstances
- financial details for purposes of receiving or making payments
- location service
- housing information relating your council tenancy
- visual images, personal appearance and behaviour
- licenses or permits held
- business activities
Special category data
- physical or mental health details
- racial or ethnic origin
- gender and sexual orientation
- offences (including alleged offences)
- criminal proceedings, outcomes and sentences
Who we’ll share your data with
Personal data may be shared internally to relevant teams or externally but is always done:
- on a case-by-case basis
- using the minimum personal data necessary to provide the service
- with the appropriate security controls in place
- in line with legislation
Information is only shared with those agencies and bodies who need to know or where you have consented to the sharing of your personal data.
We may use the information we hold about you to assist in the detection and prevention of crime or fraud. We may also share this information with other bodies that inspect and manage public funds.
Holding your personal information
We will not keep your data for longer than is necessary, subject to any legal obligations we have to retain the data. How long we keep it will vary according to the services you are involved with and the lawful basis for processing within those services.
The principles we use to determine how long your data will be kept include:
- the type of services you received and whether you are still receiving them
- whether we still are still under a legal obligation either to you or under UK Law
- any standards and guidance set out by the various regulators for our functions
- whether you have expressed a preference that your data be retained, such as exercising your right to restricted processing
How your data will be stored
Your information will be stored in electronic databases, document management systems and on paper records.
Who can access your data
We will only make your information available to those who need to know in order to perform their council role.
How we protect your data
Examples of the security measures we use are:
- training our staff to make them aware of how to handle information securely and how and when to report when something goes wrong
- encryption when sending data, meaning that information is scrambled so that it cannot be read without access to an unlock key. The hidden information is said to then be ‘encrypted’
- data will be pseudonymised where possible, meaning that your identity will be removed, so work can be done without your identity being known by the people doing that work
- controlling access to systems and networks to stop people who are not allowed to view your personal information from getting access to it
- regular testing of our technology and ways of working including keeping up to date on the latest security updates (commonly called patches)
Transferring data outside the European Economic Area
Your information is not processed outside of the European Economic Area.
Your individual rights
You have the following rights in relation to your personal information:
- the right to be informed – you have right to know about the collection and use of your personal data. We'll inform you through our service-specific notices
- the right of access – you can request to know what we hold on you along with an explanation for how it is used by making a Subject Access Request
- the right to rectification – you have the right to ask us to update, amend or change your information if it's factually inaccurate or incomplete
- the right to erasure – you have the right to ask us to delete your personal information where it can be shown that we no longer have a lawful basis to retain it or the information was collected on the basis of consent only and you have withdrawn your consent
- the right to restrict processing – you have the right to request that we limit using your personal data for specific purposes if you do not believe we have a lawful basis for a particular purpose or where you consider the data to be incorrect. On receiving a restriction request, we are obliged to consider our use of the data and provide you with a response
- the right to object – you have the right, in certain circumstances, to object to us collecting, using and storing your information. On receiving a request of this type, we are required to stop using your data whilst we investigate and provide a response
How to get advice or make a complaint
Data Protection Officer
If you have a concern about how we collect or use your personal data you can contact the Council’s Data Protection Officer.
How to make a complaint
We aim to resolve all complaints about how we handle personal information. You also have the right to make a complaint about data protection to the Information Commissioner's Office.
Contact them by post: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF or phone 0303 1231 113.
You can also make a complaint or find out more information on the Commissioner's Office website.
If your complaint is not about data protection, find details on how to make a complaint about a council service.