If you’ve been contacted to help with research, campaigns or news - our privacy policy

With your permission we might contact you for help with research, campaigns or media work. We'll collect information from you by either:

  • talking with you over the phone, face to face or by email

  • accessing your records on our case management system - if you've got advice from us before

  • asking your local Citizens Advice to pass your details to us - if you've given them permission

  • accessing a survey you completed - for example on our website

With your permission, we might ask you to fill in an online survey about your experience getting help from us - this is called the ‘Client Experience’ survey.

We might have asked a trusted research partner to contact you on our behalf. These companies should have their own privacy policy relating to how they collect, use and share your personal information. We have an agreement with them to make sure they store data securely and follow data protection laws.

We’re still responsible for keeping your personal information safe and making sure we follow data protection law. This means we're the ‘data controller' for your information.

To find out which research companies we're currently working with, contact researchteam@citizensadvice.org.uk.

We'll always tell you how we'll use your information and ask your permission. For example, by signing a paper consent form, giving agreement over the phone or ticking a box online.

If we want to record an interview with you, we'll ask.

If you were contacted by a local Citizens Advice

Your local Citizens Advice will have their own policy about how they collect, use and store your information. Contact your local Citizens Advice and ask to see their policy - or check their website.

What information we ask for

We only ask for the information we need to tell your story or inform our research. Depending on how we want you to help us, this might include information about:

  • your situation like family, work or financial circumstances - and how it affects you

  • how you use Citizens Advice and other organisations' services - and what you thought about them

  • your name and contact details - so we can keep in touch with you

  • demographic information like your gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation

If you don't want to give us some personal details, you don't have to.

You can withdraw your permission for us to store your personal information at any time - known legally as withdrawing consent. Tell us what personal information you don't want us to store and we'll delete it.

How we use and share your information

When we contact you we'll explain how we want to use your information - for example, we might want to:

  • ask you to share your story with the media

  • include your information in a report or blog as part of our research and design, campaigns, or media work

  • use your information to improve our services

If we're sharing your story publicly, you can stay anonymous if you want to - we'll change some details of your story to make sure you can't be identified.

We might share your information with government or industry regulators as part of our campaigns and policy work.

Organisations we share your data with must store and use it in line with data protection law - they can't pass it on or sell it without your permission.

We only access your information for other reasons if we really need to - for example, to investigate complaints.

All staff accessing data have done data protection training to make sure your information is handled sensitively and securely.

Storing your information

Copies of your records and any new interview notes are kept securely on our internal systems.

We keep your data for up to 3 years. If your case has been subject to a serious complaint, insurance claim or other dispute we keep the data for 16 years.

You can withdraw your permission for us to store your personal information at any time - known legally as withdrawing consent. Tell us what personal information you don't want us to store and we'll delete it.

Contact us about your information

You can contact us at any time and ask us:

  • what information we've stored about you

  • to change or update your details

  • to delete your information

Send us a message at feedback@citizensadvice.org.uk.

If you want to make a complaint

If you're not happy with how we've handled your data, you can make a complaint.