Why we use your personal information

Personal information can be anything that identifies and relates to a living person.

What is personal information?

This can include information that, when put together with other information, can then identify a person. For example, this could be your name, address and telephone number. 

What is 'special' personal information?

Some information is 'special' and needs more protection due to its sensitivity. This is often information you would not want widely known and is very personal to you. This is likely to include anything that can reveal your:

  • race
  • ethnic origin
  • politics
  • religion
  • trade union membership
  • genetics
  • biometrics (where used for ID purposes, such as fingerprint or face recognition)
  • health (mental and physical)
  • sex life, or
  • sexual orientation

Why do we need your personal information?

The council need to use some information about you to:

  • deliver services to you;
  • manage those services we provide to you;
  • recruit, train and manage the employment of our workers who deliver those services;
  • help investigate any worries or complaints you have about your services;
  • keep track of spending on services;
  • check the quality of services; and
  • help with research and planning of new services.

How the law allows us to use your personal information

There are a number of reasons why we need to collect and use your personal information. Data protection law calls this the 'legal basis' for processing. Each privacy notice for the service explains which legal reason is being used. Generally speaking, we collect and use personal information because:

  • you, or your legal representative, have given consent
  • you have entered into a contract with us
  • it is necessary to perform our statutory duties or to exercise our 'official authority'
  • it is necessary to protect someone in an emergency
  • it is required by law
  • it is necessary for employment purposes
  • you have made your information publicly available
  • it is necessary for legal cases or enforcement action
  • it is in the public interest
  • it is necessary to protect public health
  • it is necessary for archiving, research, or statistical purposes

If we have consent to use your personal information, you have the right to remove it at any time. If you want to remove your consent, please contact DPO@mendip.gov.uk and tell us which service you're using so we can deal with your request.  Please bear in mind that there are a number of legal reasons why we are processing your data. As a district council, this is often (though not ways) to fulfil a legal obligation or because it is in the public interest to exercise our 'official authority' (what the ICO calls a 'Public Task'), so consent is not required and therefore cannot be removed. 

We only use what we need!

Where we can, we'll only collect and use personal information if we need it for a specific reason, such as to deliver a service or meet a requirement. For example, in a survey we may not need your contact details so we'll only collect your survey responses anonymously. We will only collect what we need to carry out this specific purpose.

If we use your personal information for research and analysis, we'll always keep you anonymous, unless you've agreed that your personal information can be used for that research.

With the exception of the electoral register, we never sell your personal information to anyone else.