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Privacy policy

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.

You can check our main Citizens Advice policy for how we handle most of your personal information. 

This page covers how we, as your local charity, handle your information locally in our offices.

How Citizens Advice Citizens Advice Haringey collect your data

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.

Citizens Advice Haringey has a number of projects in which we collect your data using the registration form we ask you to complete when you initially come to see us.

We update this as we keep seeing you and will regularly ask for your permission to keep this information.

If you are a telephone client, we will ask you for the information and complete the form on your behalf, we will then ask for your verbal permission to keep this information.

Our other projects:

We Are Digital

For our We Are Digital (WAD) project, we help L&Q residents with their money issues and we accept referrals from WAD which they will provide us with your details and we update them on the work that we have done with you. We will then register you with us as a client and you will be treated as above.

Connected Communities

We work with the London Borough of Haringey on this project, and while we keep your information, you are asked to provide permission to share information with the project. There is different registration forms used for this project, although they will all comply with data protection requirements.

Crutch

When using this service we will complete a registration form with you, that are for the use of the Crutch team only, this is stored internally on our own independent server and not shared.

We will always ask you for permission to collect your information.

What Citizens Advice Citizens Advice Haringey ask for

We'll only ask for information that's relevant to your problem. Depending on what you want help with, this might include:

  • your name and contact details - so we can keep in touch with you about your case
  • personal information - for example about family, work, or financial circumstances, or if you're vulnerable or at risk of harm
  • details about services you get that are causing you problems - like energy or post
  • details of items or services you've bought and traders you've dealt with
  • information like your gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation

We occasionally ask for details about someone else like a neighbour or your partner so we can deal with an enquiry. We'll only do this if we have a legitimate interest in the information, or we need it to protect someone's life.

If you don't want to give us certain information, you don't have to. For example, if you want to stay anonymous we'll only record information about your problem and make sure you're not identified.

We’ll always ask for your consent to store information about your:

  • health conditions
  • ethnic origin
  • religion
  • trade union membership
  • sexual orientation

You can withdraw your consent at any time. Tell us what personal information you don't want us to store and we'll delete it.

How Citizens Advice Citizens Advice Haringey use your information

The main reason we ask for your information is to help solve your problem.
We only access your information for other reasons if we really need to - for example:

  • for training and quality purposes
  • to investigate complaints
  • to get feedback from you about our services
  • to help us improve our services

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

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.

Common organisations we work with include

  • Haringey Council
  • Connected Communities
  • Glasspool Charity
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • We Are Digital
  • London and Quadrant

How Citizens Advice Citizens Advice Haringey store your information

Whether you get advice face to face, over the phone, by email or chat, our adviser will log all your information, correspondence, and notes about your problem into our secure case management systems. 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.

Some of your information might also be kept within our secure email and IT systems. We use our own private seperate server to store this information.

We keep your information for 6 years. If your case has been subject to a serious complaint, insurance claim or other dispute we keep the data for 16 years.

Our case management systems are hosted within the EEA and wherever possible, the UK.

Most of our trusted partners store their data securely within the European Economic Area (EEA) in line with data protection law.

There might be other places we store your information, depending on how you accessed our advice.

You can get more detailed information from the National Citizens Advice.

How Citizens Advice Citizens Advice Haringey share your information

With your permission, we might share your information with other organisations so we can:

  • help solve your problem - for example, if you ask us to contact your creditors we might need to share your name, address and financial details with them
  • refer you quickly to another organisation for more advice, if relevant
  • monitor the quality of our services

Organisations we share your data with must store and use your data in line with data protection law.

There might be specific organisations we share your information with, depending on what service you access.

We have a number of projects which we may share your information with partners, this is usually to make a referral from a service such as We Are Digital or Bridge Renewal Trust.

We share some information with Connected Communities if you use our service with them, however not if you are using Citizens Advice Haringey advice service.

Contact Citizens Advice Citizens Advice Haringey about your information

If you have any questions about how your information is collected or used, you can contact our office.

Daniel Balke
Citizens Advice Haringey, 20e Waltheof Gardens, London, N17 7DN
Email: daniel.blake@haringeycabx.org.uk
Telephone: 02038 725 840

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 our 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.