At Citizens Advice we collect and use your personal information to help solve your problems, improve our services and tackle wider issues in society that affect people’s lives.
We only ask for the information we need. We always let you decide what you’re comfortable telling us, explain why we need it and treat it as confidential.
When we record and use your personal information we:
- only access it when we have a good reason
- only share what is necessary and relevant
- don’t sell it to anyone
We collect and use the details you give us so we can help you. We have a ‘legitimate interest’ to do this under data protection law. This means it lets us carry out our aims and goals as an organisation. We'll always explain how we use your information.
At times we might use or share your information without your permission. If we do, we’ll always make sure there’s a legal basis for it. This could include situations where we have to use or share your information:
- to comply with the law - for example, if a court orders us to share information (this is called ‘legal obligation’)
- to protect someone’s life - for example, sharing information with a paramedic if a client was unwell at our office (this is called ‘vital interests’)
- to carry out our legitimate aims and goals as a charity - for example, to create statistics for our national research (this is called ‘legitimate interests’)
- for us to carry out a task where we’re meeting the aims of a public body in the public interest - for example, delivering a government or local authority service (this is called ‘public task’)
- to carry out a contract we have with you - for example, if you’re an employee we might need to store your bank details so we can pay you (this is called ‘contract’)
- to defend our legal rights - for example, sharing information with our legal advisors if there was a complaint that we gave the wrong advice
We handle and store your personal information in line with the law - including the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018.
This page covers how we, as your local charity, handle your information locally in our offices.
How Citizens Advice Oxford collect and use your information
To find out how we collect and use your information, see our national Citizens Advice
Working on your behalf
When you give us authority to act on your behalf, for example to help you with a Universal Credit claim, we’ll need to share information with that third party.
We commonly share information with Oxford City Council and the DWP.
How Citizens Advice Oxford will store your information
The record of your case will be stored securely in an electronic case management system used jointly by all of the Citizens Advice service. We are all responsible for keeping it safe. As part of solving your problem, we might also make written notes, download copies of your case or send emails containing your information. We will make sure any information is stored securely and only accessed when there’s a good reason by staff and volunteers of the Citizens Advice service.
How Citizens Advice Oxford share your information
We will generally not share information without your permission, unless required to do so by law or in some very limited situations, like to protect you or someone else from serious harm. If we are referring you to another service we may ask for your permission to share your information with that agency in order to provide a seamless service and we will share that information securely.
Contact Citizens Advice Oxford about your information
If you have any questions about how your information is collected or used, you can contact our office.
Citizens Advice Oxford
95 St Aldates
You can contact us to:
- find out what personal information we hold about you
- correct your information if it’s wrong, out of date or incomplete
- request we delete your information
- ask us to limit what we do with your data - for example, ask us not to share it if you haven’t asked us already
- ask us to give you a copy of the data we hold in a format you can use to transfer it to another service
- ask us stop using your information
Who’s responsible for looking after your personal information
The national Citizens Advice charity and your local Citizens Advice operate a system called Casebook to keep your personal information safe. This means they’re a ‘joint data controller’ for your personal information that’s stored in the Casebook system.
Each local Citizens Advice is an independent charity, and a member of the national Citizens Advice charity. The Citizens Advice membership agreement also requires that the use of your information complies with data protection law.
You can find out more about your data rights on the Information Commissioner’s website.