FORRME Ltd needs to gather and use certain information about individuals.
These individuals can include suppliers, employees and other people the organisation has a relationship with or may need to contact.
This policy describes how this personal data must be collected, handled and stored to meet the company’s data protection standards and to comply with the law.
Why this policy exists
This data protection policy ensures FORRME Ltd:
- Complies with data protection law and follows good practice
- Protects the rights of staff
- Is open about how it stores and processes individual’s data
- Protects itself from the risks of a data breach
Data Protection Law
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) describes how organisations, including FORRME Ltd, must collect, handle, use and store personal information.
These rules apply regardless of whether data is stored electronically, on paper, or on other materials. To comply with the law, personal information must be collected and used fairly, stored safely and not disclosed unlawfully.
The Data Project Act is unpinned by eight important principles. These say that personal data must:
- Be processed fairly and lawfully
- Be obtained only for specific, lawful purposes
- Be adequate, relevant and not excessive
- Be accurate and kept up to date
- Not be held for any longer than necessary
- Processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects
- Be protected in appropriate ways
- Not be transferred outside the European Economic Area (EEA), unless that country or territory also ensures an adequate level of protection.
This policy applies to:
- The head office of FORRME Ltd
- All site locations of FORRME Ltd
- All staff of FORRME Ltd
- All subcontractors, suppliers and other people working on behalf of FORRME Ltd
It applies to all data that the company holds relating to identifiable individuals, even if that information technically falls outside of The Data Project Act (DFA), The privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) and The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This can include:
- Names of individuals
- Postal addresses
- Email addresses
- Telephone numbers
- Any other information relating to individuals
Data protection Risks
This policy helps to protect FORRME Ltd from some very real data security risks, including:
- Breaches of confidentiality: For instance, information being given out inappropriately
- Failing to offer choice: For instance, all individuals should be free to choose how the company uses data relating to them
- Reputational damage: For instance, the company could suffer if hackers successfully gained access to sensitive data.
Everyone who works for or with FORRME Ltd has some responsibility for ensuring data is collected, stored and handled appropriately.
Each team that handles personal data must ensure that it is handled and processed in line with this policy and data protection principles.
However, these people have key areas of responsibility:
- The Managing Director is ultimately responsible for ensuring that FORRME Ltd meets its legal obligations.
- The Appointed Person is responsible for:
- Reviewing all data protection procedures and related policies, in line with an agreed schedule.
- Arranging data projection advice for the people covered by this policy.
- Handling data projection questions from staff and anyone else covered by this policy.
- Dealing with requests from individuals to see the data FORRME Ltd holds about them (also called ‘subject access requests’)
- Checking and approving any contracts or agreements with third parties that may handle the company’s sensitive data.
- Keeping the board updated about data protection responsibilities, risks and issues.
- The CTO is responsible for:
- Ensuring all systems, services and equipment used for storing data meet acceptable security standards.
- Performing regular checks and scans to ensure security hardware and software is functioning properly
- Evaluating any third-party services, the company is considering using to store or process data, for instance, cloud computing services.
- The only people able to access data covered by this policy should be those who need it for their work.
- Data should not be shared informally. When access to confidential information is required, employees can request it from the Appointed Person.
- FORRME Ltd will provide advice to all employees to help them understand their responsibilities when handling data.
- Employees should keep all data secure, by taking sensible precautions and following the guidelines below.
- In particular, strong passwords must be used.
- Personal data should not be disclosed to unauthorised people, either within the company or externally.
- Data should be regularly reviewed and updated if it is found to be out of date, if no longer required, it should be deleted and disposed of.
- Employees should request help from the Appointed Person if they are unsure about any aspect of data protection.
These rules describe how and where data should be safely stored. Questions about storing data safely can be directed to the data controller.
When data is stored on paper, it should be kept in a secure place where unauthorised people cannot see it.
These guidelines also apply to data that is usually stored electronically but has been printed out for some reason:
- When not required, the paper or files should be kept in a locked drawer or filing cabinet.
- Employees should make sure paper and printouts are not left where unauthorised people could see them, like on a printer.
- Data printouts should be shredded and disposed of securely when no longer required.
When data is stored electronically, it must be protected from unauthorised access, accidental deletion and malicious hacking attempts:
- Data should be protected by strong passwords that are changed regularly.
- If data is stored on removable media (like a CD or DVD), these should be kept locked away securely when not being used.
- Data should only be stored on designated drives and servers.
- Servers containing personal data should be sited in a secure location, away from general office space.
- Data should be backed up frequently, those backups should be tested regularly.
- Data should never be saved directly to laptops or other mobile devices like tablets or smart phones.
- All servers and computers containing data should be protected by approved security software and a firewall.
Personal data is of no value to FORRME Ltd unless the business can make use of it. However, it is when personal data is accessed and used that it can be at the greatest risk of loss corruption or theft:
- When working with personal data, employees should ensure the screens of their computers are always locked when left unattended.
- Personal data should not be shared informally. In particular, it should never be sent by email, as this form of communication is not secure.
- Data must be encrypted before being transferred electronically. The CTO can explain how to send data to authorised external contacts.
- Personal data should never be transferred outside of the European Economic Area.
- Employees should not save copies of personal data to their own computers. Always access and update the central copy of any data.
The law requires FORRME Ltd to take reasonable steps to ensure data is kept accurate and up to date. The more important it is that the personal data is accurate, the greater the effort FORRME Ltd should put into ensuring its accuracy.
It is the responsibility of all employees who work with data to take reasonable steps to ensure it is kept as accurate and up to date as possible.
- Data will be held in as few places as necessary. Staff should not create any unnecessary additional data sets.
- Staff should take every opportunity to ensure data is updated.
- Data should be updated as inaccuracies are discovered. For instance, if a client/subcontractor etc can no longer be reached on their stored telephone number or email address, it should be removed from the database.
All individuals who are the subject of personal data held by FORRME Ltd are entitled to:
- Ask what information the company holds about them and why
- Ask how to gain access to it
- Be informed how to keep it up to date
- Be informed how the company is meeting its data protection obligations
- Issue consent to FORRME Ltd to hold this information
- Have the right to be forgotten when no longer employed by FORRME Ltd
If an individual contacts the company requesting this information, this is called a subject access request.
Subject access requests from individuals should be made by email, address to the appointed person at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The appointed person will supply a standard request form.
The data controller will aim to provide the relevant data within seven working days.
The appointed person will always verify the identity of anyone making a subject access request before handing over any information.
In certain circumstances, The Data Projection, The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations and The General Data Projection Regulation allows personal data to be disclosed to law enforcement agencies without the consent of the data subject.
Under these circumstances, FORRME Ltd will disclose requested data, however, the data controller will ensure the request is legitimate, seeking assistance from the Managing Director where necessary.
FORRME Ltd aims to ensure that individuals are aware that their data is being processed and that they understand:
- How the data is being used
- How to exercise their rights
To these ends, the company has a privacy statement, setting out how data relating to individuals is used by the company. (This is available on request)