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Your Data and Your Rights

Understanding what an organisation knows about you, and having a say in what they can do with that information is important and Volunteer Cornwall wants to make sure that you can make your views clear and that as much as possible we respect your wishes. We think that for the most part we only hold the information about you that you would expect us to, and in most cases only the information that you have given us yourself in order to access a service that we offer or to participate in our activities. We only use that information for the purpose it has been given to us and we do not hold on to information longer than we need it, or use it to build a profile of you at all. In short we don’t think that you would be surprised by what we know or why we hold it. In respect of some more sensitive things we might know about you (like medical information, or information about your sexual orientation) we will only hold this information if you have been asked to consent to us doing so.

We want it to be a straightforward process for you to understand what rights you have relating to information we hold about you, and to stand up for those rights. This page describes those rights and a simple way of asking us to do something about information that we hold. Don’t just take our word for it though, there is a lot of really helpful information available online telling you what you can do to find out what an organisation knows about you, and to limit what they can do with it. A good starting point is the Information Commissioner’s Office [LINK] who oversees this subject on behalf of the government. At the bottom of this page is a simple form to complete if you want to know more about what information we hold about you, or have concerns about what we do with it.

What rights do you have?

What do you know about me? This is called the Right to be Informed. If we hold data about you then you have the right to know what information we know about you, why we have that information, and what we do with it. You also have the right to understand how you can object to us having that information, or to what we do with it. This page is part of Volunteer Cornwall’s way of making sure that this right is respected.

Can I see the information itself? Yes, this is called the Right of Access, if you wish to you can ask to see the information itself. Where we hold information about you within a database it might not be all that easy to understand but, if you want to see it we will do everything we can to make that happen and it is our job to make it understandable for you.

Can I make sure that it is accurate? Yes, this is called the Right to Rectification. Whatever information we hold should be accurate and we try make sure that it is but sometimes things can be recorded wrongly, or people can misunderstand what they are told. If you become aware that we have inaccurate information about you, or you find this out as a result of exercising your Right of Access which we mentioned earlier then you can ask us to put it right. Sometimes we might have information that you think is inaccurate but we think is fair. Where this is the case we will explain why we think the information is accurate and we will make sure that your opinions on the subject are noted alongside the information in question. For example if a volunteer visits you and your dog jumps up at them making them feel uncomfortable we might record that you have an “unpredictable dog”. You might well disagree with this and think that the dog is predictable. We would probably want to retain our original record but it would be right that the fact that you disagree with that information is recorded too.

If I am unhappy that you hold information about me can I ask you to ‘forget’ me? Sometimes, this is called the Right to Erasure. If the only reason that we hold information about you is because you have given us that information and there is no other need for us to keep it then yes you can ask for us to delete the information. A lot of the time though we will have to hold on to the information is some form perhaps because you participated in an activity for which we had a contract with someone else, or because we need to be able to check a volunteer’s activities. Where we don’t feel that we are able to respect your request that we delete the information you have the right to be told why this is.

Can I limit what you do with information about me? Sometimes, in some circumstances this is called the Right to Restrict Processing. You might want us to limit what we do with your information if you think that our records are inaccurate or that we should not have information about you at all and while we get to the bottom of that you do not want that information to be used. Similarly you might think that we have no right at all to information about you but you would like us to keep that information rather than erase it, perhaps if you are thinking about taking legal action.

Can I ask you to make information about me available to me in a way I can share with another organisation? In theory yes, this is called the Right to Data Portability. If you wanted to transfer all the information we hold about you to someone else then you could ask us to give it to you formatted in such a way that it made another organisation’s life easier to use that information. It is difficult, given the activities that we undertake, to foresee how this might arise in practice but it is a right that you have and if it is something that you would like us to do then we are happy to talk to you about your requirements.

Can I object to you using my information at all? Yes, this is called the Right to Object. If you tell us that you object to us having and using information about you then we must take this seriously. In some cases if you do not wish us to use information about you then we might not be able to offer you a particular service or the opportunity to participate in an activity which we organise. If you do object to us having your information we will have to review whether we have any real reason to hold on to it despite your objections but we should offer find a way of ensuring that your wishes are met as much as possible, perhaps by erasing the information from all but our archive, or by limiting what we do with that information.

Lastly, there is another set of rights to do with what is called ‘Automated Decision Making’. This deals with how you can control information about you which is used as information in computerised processes. Volunteer Cornwall isn’t really that sophisticated at the moment and we don’t use information for this sort of purpose. If that changes we will update this section.

How do I assert my rights?

We want to make it as simple as possible for you. With that in mind we have created a form for you to fill in telling us what your concerns or interests are in respect of the information that we hold about you. If you would like to assert any of the rights described above please use the form to tell us your concerns.

What will happen then?

The form will be send directly from our website to the Senior Manager who is responsible for the project or activity that you are involved in. They will then be responsible for reporting back on what information we hold, and the feasibility of doing what you ask. Our Chief Executive, Ian Jones, is the member of our Management Team responsible for our registration with the Information Commissioner’s Office and who is therefore responsible for making sure that your rights are respected. Ian will then reply to you dealing with your request.

How long will it take?

We will always write back to you within one calendar month, in most cases we should have a full response for you within that time but sometimes we might write to you to let you know that it might take longer where we hold a lot of information about you or your request is complicated. In those cases we will tell you how long it might take and we will provide a full response within three months at the most.

What if you’re not happy with our response?

If you do not think that we have acted on your concerns properly then you can ask for our response to be reviewed internally. It is also open to you to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office who can investigate your concerns and can ask us to look at what we do with your information and how we have dealt with your concerns.

If you would like to know more about what information we hold about you, or wish to exercise any of the rights referred to above please fill in this form Your Rights Subject Access Request Form.