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General privacy notice

The London borough of Barking and Dagenham is committed to protecting your privacy when you use our services. This privacy notice explains how we use information about you and how we protect your privacy.

Why we use your personal information Toggle accordion

Personal information

Personal information can be any information relating to a living person who can be directly or indirectly identified by reference to an identifier.  A personal identifier includes your name, location, online identifier and identification numbers.

Special category personal information

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

  • sexuality and sexual health
  • religious or philosophical beliefs
  • ethnicity
  • physical or mental health
  • trade union membership
  • political opinion
  • genetic/biometric data
  • criminal history

How the law allows us to use your personal information

There are a number of legal reasons why we need to collect and use your personal information.

Generally we collect and use personal information where:

  • you, or your legal representative, have given consent
  • you have entered into a contract with us
  • it's necessary to perform our statutory duties
  • it's necessary to protect someone in an emergency
  • it's required by law
  • it's necessary for employment purposes
  • it's necessary to deliver health or social care services
  • you have made your information publicly available
  • it's necessary for legal cases
  • it's to the benefit of society as a whole
  • it's necessary to protect public health
  • it's 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, contact us at and tell us which service you’re using so we can deal with your request.

We only use what we need

Where we can, we’ll only collect and use personal information if we need it to deliver a service or meet a requirement.

If we don’t need personal information we’ll either keep you anonymous if we already have it for something else or we won’t ask you for it. For example, in a survey we may not need your contact details we’ll only collect your survey responses.

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

We don’t sell your personal information to anyone else.

Access your information with a subject access request (SAR) Toggle accordion

Accessing information we hold about you

We would normally expect to share what we record about you with you whenever we assess your needs or provide you with services.

You also have the right to ask for all the information we have about you and the services you receive from us. When we receive a request from you in writing, we must give you access to everything we’ve recorded about you.

We can’t let you see any information on your record which contains:

  • confidential information about other people; or
  • information a professional thinks will cause serious harm to you or someone else’s physical or mental well-being; or
  • if we think that giving you the information may stop us from preventing or detecting a crime

This applies to personal information that is in both paper and electronic records. If you ask us, we’ll also let others see your record (except if one of the points above applies).

How to request your information

When you request access to your information, you must:

  • complete and sign the subject access request (SAR) form
  • provide one form of identification with the request from and a contact telephone number.

Barking and Dagenham are unable to accept subject access requests which are submitted via online platforms. As an authority we are unable to confirm the security of personal data and identity of requestors via these means and as such they do not comply with the published Article 15 Obligations. Your right to access data is not affected and you are able to request information via the published subject access form  below.

Subject access request form (PDF, 81.60 KB)

Request by email

Print and sign the subject access request form and send to with a scanned copy of your ID or by post with proof of ID enclosed.

Request by post

Print and sign our subject access request form and send it to us with proof of ID enclosed, addressed to: 

Private and confidential: for the attention of: Data Protection Officer, Client Unit, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, Barking Town Hall, First Floor, Barking IG11 7LU

What happens next

Once we have the required information your request should be complied within 30 days. In exceptional circumstances where it is not possible to comply within this period you will be informed of the delay and given a timescale for when your request is likely to be met.

Who we share your information with Toggle accordion

We use a range of organisations to either store personal information or help deliver our services to you. Where we have these arrangements there is an agreement in place to make sure that the organisation complies with data protection law.

Sometimes we have a legal duty to provide personal information to other organisations.  This is often because we need to give that data to courts, including:

  • if we take a child into care
  • if the court orders that we provide the information; and
  • if someone is taken into care under mental health law

We may also share your personal information when we feel there’s a good reason that’s more important than protecting your privacy. This doesn’t happen often, but we may share your information;

  • in order to find and stop crime and fraud, or if there are serious risks to the public, our staff or to other professionals;
  • to protect a child; or
  • to protect adults who are thought to be at risk, for example, if they are frail, confused or cannot understand what is happening to them.

For all of these reasons the risk must be serious before we can override your right to privacy.

If we’re worried about your physical safety or feel we need to take action to protect you from being harmed in other ways, we’ll discuss this with you and, if possible, get your permission to tell others about your situation before doing so.

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 information straight away.

If this is the case, we’ll make sure that we record what information we share and our reasons for doing so. We’ll let you know what we’ve done and why if we think it is reasonable to do so.


We have a duty to protect the funds we administer and are required by law to participate in the Cabinet Office’s National Fraud Initiative data matching exercise. London Borough of Barking & Dagenham may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, including the Cabinet Office in order to prevent and detect fraud.

For further information see our National Fraud Initiative page.

How we protect your information Toggle accordion

We’ll do what we can to make sure we hold records about you (on paper and electronically) in a secure way, and we’ll only make them available to those who have a right to see them. Examples of our security include:

  • encryption, meaning that information is hidden so that it cannot be read without special knowledge (such as a password). This is done with a secret code or what’s called a ‘cypher’. The hidden information is said to then be ‘encrypted’
  • pseudonymisation, meaning that we’ll use a different name so we can hide parts of your personal information from view.  This means that someone outside of the council could work on your information for us without ever knowing it was yours
  • 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
  • training for our staff allows us to make them aware of how to handle information and how and when to report when something goes wrong
  • regular testing our technology and ways of working including keeping up to date on the latest security updates (commonly called patches)

You can find more details of our information security expectations on our online policy.

Where we store your information Toggle accordion

The majority of personal information is stored on systems in the UK. There may be some occasions where your information my leave the UK either in order to get another organisation or if it’s stored in a system outside of the EU.

We have additional protections on your information if it leaves the UK ranging from secure ways of transferring data to ensuring we have a robust contract in place with that third party.

We’ll take all practical steps to make sure your personal information is not sent to a country that is not seen as ‘safe’ either by the UK or EU governments.

If we need to send your information to an ‘unsafe’ location we’ll always seek advice from the Information Commissioner first.

How long we keep your personal information Toggle accordion

There’s often a legal reason for keeping your personal information for a set period of time, we try to include all of these in our retention schedule. 

For each service the schedule lists how long your information may be kept for. This ranges from months for some records to decades for more sensitive records.

Full details can be found in our records management policy.

Records management policy (PDF, 555 KB)

Exempt information Toggle accordion

In certain circumstances, the General Data Protection Regulation permits us to withhold information, for example;

  • personal staff data (full names, contact details etc)
  • information likely to cause serious harm to the physical or mental health or condition of you, or any other person
  • information relating to or provided by a third person who has not consented to the disclosure, including images removed or obscured

If we can’t give you some or any of the information, we’ll tell you why. More information is available in our subject access request policy.

Subject access request policy (PDF, 219 KB)

Ask us to change information you think is inaccurate Toggle accordion

You should let us know if you disagree with something written on your file.

We may not always be able to change or remove that information but we’ll correct factual inaccuracies and if we can’t correct it we will include your comments on the record to show that you disagree with it.

If you want us to correct the information we hold about you, email us at and tell us which service you’re using so we can deal with your request.

Ask us to delete information (right to be forgotten) Toggle accordion

In some circumstances you can ask for your personal information to be deleted, for example;

  • where your personal information is no longer needed for the reason why it was collected in the first place
  • where you have removed your consent for us to use your information (where there is no other legal reason for us to use it)
  • where there is no legal reason for the us to retain your information
  • where deleting the information is a legal requirement

Where your personal information has been shared with others, we’ll do what we can to make sure those using your personal information comply with your request for erasure.

We can’t delete your information where:

  • we’re required to have it by law
  • it is used for freedom of expression
  • it is used for public health purposes
  • it is for, scientific or historical research, or statistical purposes where it would make information unusable
  • it is necessary for legal claims

Ask to limit what we use your personal information for Toggle accordion

You have the right to ask us to restrict what we use your personal information for where:

  • you have identified inaccurate information, and have told us of it
  • where we have no legal reason to use that information but you want us to restrict what we use it for rather than erase the information altogether

When information is restricted it can’t be used other than to securely store the data and with your consent to handle legal claims and protect others, or where it’s for important public interests of the UK.

Where restriction of use has been granted, we’ll inform you before we carry on using your personal information.

You have the right to ask us to stop using your personal information for any council service. However, if this request is approved this may cause delays or prevent us delivering that service.

Where possible we’ll seek to comply with your request, but we may need to hold or use information because we are required to by law.

Ask to have your information moved (data portability) Toggle accordion

You have the right to ask for your personal information to be given back to you or another service provider of your choice in a commonly used format.  This is called data portability.

This only applies if we’re using your personal information with consent (not if we’re required to by law) and if decisions were made by a computer and not a human being.

It’s likely that data portability won’t apply to most of the services you receive from the council.

You can ask to have any computer made decisions explained to you, and details of how we may have ‘risk profiled’ you.

You have the right to question decisions made about you by a computer, unless it’s required for any contract you have entered into, required by law, or you’ve consented to it.

You also have the right to object if you are being ‘profiled’.  Profiling is where decisions are made about you based on certain things in your personal information eg your health condition.

If and when the council uses your personal information to profile you, in order to deliver the most appropriate service to you, you will be informed.

If you have concerns regarding automated decision making, or profiling, contact the Data Protection Officer at, who will be able to advise you about how we use your information.

Where to get advice Toggle accordion

If you have any queries about how your personal information is handled, contact our Data Protection Officer at

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing issues, you can also contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at:

Information commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water lane, Wilmslow SK9 5AF

0303 123 1113

Cookies and how you use this website Toggle accordion

To make this website easier to use, we sometimes place small text files on your device (for example your iPad or laptop) called cookies. Cookies are text files placed on your computer to collect standard internet log information and visitor behaviour information. This information is used to track visitor use of the website and to compile statistical reports on website activity. We use this information to improve access to the site and identify gaps in the content and see if it is something we should add to the site.

Unless the law allows us to, we do not:

  • share any of the data we collect about you with others, or
  • use this data to identify individuals

Other website’s cookies

We use videos from YouTube and feeds from other websites such as Facebook and Twitter. These websites place cookies on your device when watching or viewing these pages.

Turning off cookies

You can stop cookies being downloaded on to your computer or other device by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser. If you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website.

Further information on deleting and controlling cookies:

Further guidance on the use of personal information is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).