West Berkshire Council

What should I do to protect the data of those I am helping?

Under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) it is possible to share information about your residents with West Berkshire Council for the purposes of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The basic parameters around data use are as follows:

1. Do not use the data you hold for any purposes incompatible with people's fundamental rights and freedoms. Under the current circumstances your purpose for holding this data is to coordinate the response effort which is vital to public health and wellbeing, so this would not be breaching any fundamental rights or causing harm by storing this data.

2. The law is not designed to obstruct you in getting things done, especially in emergencies, however you must not disclose personal information you are holding to a third party or allow a third party access to information you are holding unless this is strictly necessary to the response effort. The sharing of any personal data on social media is strictly prohibited and is not an appropriate forum to share personal data even in an emergency.

3. Limit your processing to only that which is necessary for the duration of this period when you are coordinating the community's response efforts. Resist the temptation to add data to lists for use at a later date as you are currently only collating this information for a very specific and time-bound purpose.

4. Keep data secure and make sure you don't hold it for any longer than is absolutely necessary.

5. Be mindful that some basic practices can help save time and unnecessary controversy. For instance, when sending a mass distribution email, the advice is to use the blind carbon copy (bcc) function to protect the identities of all recipients.