London Borough of Barnet

Privacy

The London Borough of Barnet has developed a commissioning model which places great importance on using data and information about the borough, its residents and service users, to develop strategies and make decisions. A commissioning model gives us greater scope to tailor services to the needs of users and greatly increases the likelihood of us achieving our aims and objectives. 

This privacy notice explains how the council uses the information you give us and how it ensures that it is appropriately protected.  As a ‘commissioning council’ we work with a number of partner organisations to deliver services, further details on this are in the “Who do we share information with?” section below.

We endeavour to safeguard the privacy of our residents, service users and website visitors. This statement explains what you can expect in regards to how we collect and use your information.

Why we collect personal information

As a local authority we collect and process a considerable amount of information that is required in order for us to undertake our functions as a local authority. Any personal information we hold is processed in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act or DPA).

The council’s privacy statement applies to all personal data collected for or on behalf of the council whether by letter, email, face to face, telephone or online.

Call recording - Not all council services record or monitor telephone calls. Where we do, this will be made clear to you via an automated message at the start of your call. 

What do we use personal information for?

We use information in a number of different ways:

  • For the purpose for which you provided the information eg processing information given on a benefit claim form for the purpose of handling your benefit claim, and to monitor the council’s performance in responding to your request.
  • To allow the council to communicate and provide services appropriate to your needs eg providing assistance to new parents, highlighting any free services or additional help available to you.
  • For insight purposes which allows us to analyse patterns and trends of service usage. We use this insight for service and financial planning to help us create policy and inform decision making eg allowing us to place children’s centres in areas where they are most needed.
  • To ensure that the council meets its duties, including obligations imposed under the Equality and Health and Safety Acts.
  • Where necessary for law enforcement functions eg licensing, planning enforcement, trading standards and food safety where the council is legally obliged to undertake such processing.
  • Where the processing is necessary to comply with legal obligations eg the prevention and/or detection of crime.
  • To process financial transactions including grants, payments and benefits involving the council, or where the council is acting on behalf of other government bodies eg Department for Work and Pensions.
  • To allow us to verify your identity when seeking services from the council.
  • Where otherwise permitted under the Data Protection Act 1998. For further information on the DPA refer to the Information Commissioner’s website.

We are keen to ensure that we are providing our citizens with services that they need. Therefore, we may contact you for the purpose of making you aware of services or support which we think may be of interest to you.

From time to time we may also seek your feedback on how we are performing or seek your views on services which you have been using.

Who do we share information with?

Information the council collects is routinely shared between council services as well as with other third parties such as government bodies, the police, health and social care organisations and educational establishments.

As a ‘commissioning council’ we work with a number of partner organisations and contracted service providers to deliver services. These include: Barnet Homes for the delivery of housing services; Your Choice Barnet for provision of specialist social care and support to adults; Capita via the Customer Support Group (CSG) contract for services such as HR and Revenues and Benefits; the joint venture company Re Limited for delivery of services such as planning and environmental health.

Additionally we have a number of partnering arrangements for services such as public health and legal services. We only share information with these organisations where it is appropriate and legal to do so. The council requires its third parties to abide by the Data Protection Act 1998 and routinely undertakes checks with its providers before information is shared, to ensure that there are sufficient systems and procedures in place to protect your information.

View the council's Information Charter

Insight

As a local authority we are constantly looking at ways of improving how we provide services to our residents and service users, as we are required to do by law. The information you provide us with in your day-to-day dealings helps us to create an understanding about who our customers are and how they use our services. By bringing together and analysing customer information that the council holds (creating insight) it will allow us to deliver high quality services where they are most needed.

My Account - Single Customer View

Customers will be able to follow a registration process to create a ‘My Account’ on the council’s website. It is envisaged that My Account will hold a brief summary of contact you have had with the council’s Customer Services, as well as general information such as your address, date of birth and gender. It will also be used by officers delivering customer services to enable them to respond to any queries you may have more quickly and efficiently.

Data Matching

We routinely check information provided by you or information supplied by an external organisation about you against other information held by the council. The council may also obtain information from certain external organisations or provide information to them in order to:

  • verify the accuracy of the information we hold
  • prevent or detect crime
  • protect public funds from fraud
  • comply with the council's legal obligations
  • assist with research and statistical purposes

The Audit Commission also requires local authorities to participate in data matching exercises which assist in the prevention and/or detection of fraud. Data matching by the Audit Commission is subject to a Code of Practice and further information can be located on the Audit Commission website.

Access to Information

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you can have the right to make a formal request for personal information the council hold about you.  This is known as a Subject Access Request. For more information visit our data protection page

Visitors to our websites

When someone visits our website we collect routine internet log information, which allows us to see visitor behaviour patterns.  We do this to determine which pages are being viewed as this assists us in improving our website.  

Internet log information is collected in a way which doesn’t allow us to identify you and we do not make any attempts to find out the identities of individuals visiting our site.

Cookies

Cookies are small text files, placed on your computer or mobile device by the websites you visit. They are widely used to make websites work, or work more efficiently.

We uses cookies to control our websites’ functions, to keep statistics and for session management. We do not store any personal information in cookies. Examples of how we use cookies include: 

  • recognising your computer so you don't have to give the same information several times
  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password 
  • measuring how many people are using our websites, so we can make improvements. 

If you do not want to accept cookies, your browser can be set to automatically reject them or to inform you every time a website asks to store a cookie. You can also delete previously stored cookies. 

You can find out more about cookies and how to manage them on the Gov.uk website

Our cookie policy is set to be compliant with the EU Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive.

The cookies we use

Cookie name Type Purpose Domain
TestCookie Non-persistent This cookie is used to determine whether a user's browser accepts cookies and can therefore log in  barnet.gov.uk
PHPSESSID  Non-persistent This cookie is used to store the individual session id of a user. This is required to determine whether a user is logged in to the website. Session data is also stored when a user is filling in a form, however the data is stored on the server and not in the cookie. (This cookie is ASP.NET_SessionID on .Net systems)  barnet.gov.uk
nmstat Persistent This cookie is used to collect statistics about site usage such as when the visitor last visited the site.  siteimprove.co.uk

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Persistent These cookies are used to collect information about how visitors use our sites. In order to gather this information, we use software developed by Google called Google Analytics. To find out more, view Google's privacy policy  google.com

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Non-persistent These cookies are used to collect information about how visitors use our sites. In order to gather this information, we use software developed by Google called Google Analytics. To find out more, view Google's privacy policy  google.com

Computer viruses

We make every effort to ensure all information is virus checked before it is uploaded and made available on our website. The council cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage which may occur from use of downloaded documents, it is the responsibility of users to re-check all downloaded documents with their own virus check software.

External links

This website contains external links to third party sites. Our privacy policy applies only to information collected by or on behalf of the London Borough of Barnet. When you are transferring to another site you should read their privacy statement on the use of your information before submitting any personal details.

Updating this privacy notice

Our privacy notice may be reviewed from time to time so please check back here each time you submit personal data to us.

Data protection

Data protection enquiries

Address:
North London Business Park (NLBP),
Oakleigh Road South, London N11 1NP

Tel: 020 8359 2000

Fax: 020 8359 3000