Louth County Council needs to collect and use personal data for a variety of purposes, data about its staff, customers, members and other individuals who come in contact with the Council. Purposes for processing data include the provision of social housing, housing loans, housing assistance payments, the recruitment and payment of staff, compliance with statutory obligations etc. Data Protection legislation safeguards the privacy rights of individuals in relation to the processing of personal data. The Data Protection Act 1988 and the Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003 confer rights on individuals as well as responsibilities on those persons processing personal data. Personal data, both automated and manual, is data relating to a living individual who is or can be identified, either from the data or from the data in conjunction with other information.

This policy is a statement of the Council’s commitment to protect the rights and privacy of individuals in accordance with Data Protection legislation.

The Council undertakes to perform its responsibilities under the legislation in accordance with the eight stated data protection principles outlined in the Acts as follows:

Obtain and process information fairly

The Council will obtain and process personal data fairly in accordance with the fulfilment of its functions and its legal obligations.

Keep it only for one or more specified, explicit and lawful purposes

The Council will keep data for purposes that are specific, lawful and clearly stated and the data will only be processed in a manner compatible with these purposes.

Use and disclose it only in ways compatible with these purposes

The Council will only use and disclose personal data in ways that are necessary for the purpose/s or compatible with the purpose/s for which it collects and keeps the data.

Keep it safe and secure

The Council will take appropriate security measures to prevent unauthorised access to, or alteration, disclosure or destruction of the data and against accidental loss or destruction. The Council acknowledges that high standards of security are essential for processing all personal information.

Keep it accurate, complete and up-to-date

The Council will have procedures in place that are adequate to ensure high levels of data accuracy and completeness and to ensure that personal data is kept up to date.

Ensure that it is adequate, relevant and not excessive

Personal data held by the Council will be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose/s for which it is retained.

Retain it for no longer than is necessary for the purpose or purposes

The Council will have a defined policy on retention periods for personal data and appropriate procedures in place to implement such a policy.

Give a copy of his/her personal data to an individual, on request

The Council will have procedures in place to ensure that data subjects can exercise their rights under the Data Protection legislation.

Louth County Council has overall responsibility for ensuring compliance with Data Protection legislation where it is the controller of personal data. The Council is committed to ensuring the protection of the privacy of personal data. The Council will appoint a Data Protection Officer who will assist the Council and its staff in complying with Data Protection legislation.