Wirral Council is committed to protecting your privacy when you use council services. The Privacy Notice below explains how Wirral Council uses information about you and the ways in which we protect your privacy.
Why do we collect and use personal information?
We may need to use some information about you to:
- deliver services and or support
- manage services
- train employees
- help investigate any concerns or complaints you have about our services
- keep track of spending on services
- check the quality of services
- help with research and planning of new services
We will not collect any personal information without your knowledge. This information will be collected for a known purpose that you understand and will not be used in future for any other reason.
We may collect information via our website so we can communicate with you about an online query or a council service that you are using. This information is collected by you filling out an electronic form.
A browser's mechanism called cookies may be used in some cases for the users' convenience but our cookies will not store or retrieve personal information.
How can you access the information we hold about you?
In general terms we would share what we record about you with you whenever we assess your needs or provide you with a service.
You also have the right to ask for some or all information we have about you and your services. When we receive a request from you in writing, we must normally give you access to everything we have recorded about you.
However, we will not let you see any recorded information which contains:
- confidential information about other people
- information a care professional thinks will cause serious harm to your or someone else’s physical or mental wellbeing
- information which may prejudice an investigation if disclosed
This right of access applies to both paper and electronic records. If you authorise another person to act on your behalf then we can deal directly with that other person. If you are unable to ask for your records in writing, the Council will ensure there are other ways you can apply for your personal data.
To make a request in writing please e-mail: [email protected]
How you can request correction of inaccurate information
You should let us know if you disagree with any recorded information we hold about you. You may not always be able to change or remove the information but the Council will correct factual inaccuracies and may include your comments in the records.
How we keep information secure
We will take appropriate steps to make sure we hold records about you (on paper and electronically) in a secure way, and we will only make them available to those who have a right to see them. Our security includes:
- access controls on systems
- security training for all staff
Who will we share your personal information with?
Sometimes the Council has a legal duty to disclose information about people. This can be for a variety of reasons, for example:
- when we take a child into care
- court orders
- cases under mental health law
We may also share your personal information when we feel there is a good reason that is more important than protecting your confidentiality. This does not happen often, but the Council may share your information:
- for the detection and prevention of crime or fraudulent activity
- if there are serious risks to the public, our staff or to other professionals
- to protect a child
- to protect adults who are thought to be at risk
The law does not allow us to share your information without your permission, unless there is proof that someone is at risk. This risk must be identified as being serious before we can go against your right to confidentiality.
When we are worried about your physical safety or we feel that we need to take action to protect you from being harmed in other ways, we will discuss this with you. If possible we will get your permission to tell others about your situation. We may still share your information if we believe the risk to others is serious enough to do so.
There may also be rare occasions when the risk to others is so great that we need to share the information straight away. If this is the case, we will make sure that we record the information we share and our reasons for doing so. We will let you know what we have done and why as soon as or if we think it is safe to do so. Wherever possible we will share information without giving your name, to protect your identity.
When using personal data for research purposes, the data will be anonymised to avoid the identification of an individual, unless consent has been given for the use of the personal data.
Your trust in Wirral's online system is vital to our success and we would welcome any comments, doubts or suggestions that you may have. Please contact us if you wish to submit comments, you can do this using the ‘is there anything wrong with this page?’ link at the foot of every page on this website.
Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body. This is usually personal information. Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified.
Where a match is found, it may indicate that there is an inconsistency which requires further investigation.
National Fraud Initiative
We participate in the Cabinet Office's National Fraud Initiative. This requires us to provide particular sets of data to the Minister for the Cabinet Office for matching. The use of data for this data matching exercise is carried out with statuatory authority under part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a Code of Practice.
You can view further information on the Cabinet Office's legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information.
Birth and death registration data
All local authorities have a duty to improve the health of the population they serve. To help with this, we use data and information from a range of source data, including data collected at the registration of a birth or death to understand more about the health and care needs in the area.
You can opt out from having the council use your data in certain ways. For example, if you have opted in to our mailing list to receive emails from us about a particular service or event. All of these emails will have an unsubscribe link which can be used if you no longer wish to receive emails from us.
The council collects, stores, matches and works with personal and sensitive data to meet its public functions as a local authority, or to help other organisations, such as the police, or NHS to do the same. This is not a consent-based processing and so you cannot opt out.
For example, you would not be able to opt out of the Council Tax system as, although it is your personal information, we as a council have a legal obligation to collect this.
You would not be able to opt a child out of the child protection system as the council has a legal obligation to safeguard children. This is a documented process and so we will have their information on our secure systems.
If you feel any of our processing is causing you undue distress you can inform us via email at [email protected] and we will respond.
To check whether you can withdraw your consent for processing please email [email protected] with the service and information involved and we will get back to you.