Libraries service privacy notice

Read our privacy notice for information on how we collect, store and process your data.

We are committed to protecting your personal information.

The council is the data controller for purposes of the Data Protection Act (2018), and The General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 ("GDPR") and is also registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

As a data controller, we have a responsibility to make sure you know why and how your personal information is being collected. This is according to 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:

What data we collect from you

Personal data, including:

  • contact details (including name, address, email address, phone number)
  • date of birth
  • financial details for purposes of receiving or making payments

Special category data, including:

  • physical or mental health details
  • racial or ethnic origin
  • gender and sexual orientation

Why we’re collecting your data

We're collecting your data for the following purposes:

  • to set up and manage your library account
  • to update you on any changes to our service, like opening and closure times
  • to let you know about consultations and surveys we run
  • to let you know about events and activities we are running
  • use of Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) for staff safety, crime prevention and detection
  • we may use your information to provide adequate services - for example, making adjustments for hearing, visual impairment and mobility difficulties
  • we may use photos on social media, our website, or on signage, and we can also upload recordings of events online, this will be done with your consent

Our legal basis for collecting your data

  • Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 to provide library services throughout the City of Brighton & Hove
  • GDPR Article 6, (a)(c)(e)
  • GDPR Article 9 (g)
  • Data Protection Act 2018, Schedule 1, Part 2, (8) (10)

Who we’ll share your data with

We are part of a consortium of libraries called SELMS (South East Libraries Management Services). We may share your joining information to allow borrowing from any library in the consortium.

Other libraries will be able to see your personal data only if you choose to borrow something in person from a partner library or if you choose to pick up a reserved item from a partner library. Find out more information about SELMS.

We may use the information we hold about you with Sussex Police to assist in the detection and prevention of crime or fraud.

Test and trace

In line with government guidance we will comply with test and trace protocol to provide customer information where necessary when customers have visited a library.

This is personal data generated by logging onto a public PC, using self-service or with a transaction facilitated by a member of staff. Find out how data is collected for test and trace.

How long we will keep your data

We will not keep your data for longer than is necessary, subject to any legal obligations we have to retain the data.

Library management system data may be kept for up to 2 years from when your library membership was last active to meet audit requirements. However, if you have unreturned items or outstanding debt your data may be retained for 7 years.

If you are attending an event or activity, you will be required to sign in. This information will need to be kept for 3 years.

CCTV footage is normally held for 30 days and may be shared with the police for the prevention and detection of crime.

How we store your data

We'll store your information on electronic databases, document management systems and on paper records.

How we protect your data and keep it secure

Examples of the security measures we use are:

  • training our staff, making them aware of how to handle information securely, and how and when to report when something goes wrong
  • encryption when data is being sent, meaning we scramble information so other people can’t read it without access to an unlock key
  • pseudonymising your data, where possible - this means we will remove your identity so the people working with your data will not know your identity
  • controlling access to systems and networks allows us 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, called patches

Transferring your data outside the European Economic Area

Your data is not processed outside of the European Economic Area.

Your rights

Check your personal information rights.

How to get advice or make a complaint

Data protection contact information 

If you’d like to discuss your data protection rights, you can contact the Data Protection Team. Only use these contact details if you have questions about data protection and not for questions about other services. 

We also have a Data Protection Officer. Visit our data protection officer page to find their contact details. 

Please contact the Data Protection Team first if you have any concerns. 

You can then contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO is the national regulator with responsibility for ensuring compliance with data protection.