At Citizens Advice Reading 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 commercial organisations
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.
You can check our main Citizens Advice policy for how we handle most of your personal information. Please ask us if you need help to access the national policy on-line, or would like us to give you a paper copy
This policy covers how we, as your local charity, handle your information locally in our offices.
How Citizens Advice Reading collect your data
We collect the information from you by asking you to complete a registration form when you first visit our office, over the telephone if you use the Adviceline service or via our online enquiry form. Further data may be collected in the course of our contacts with you.
What Citizens Advice Reading ask for
How Citizens Advice Reading use your information
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; for example Reading Borough Council, The Department of Work and Pensions, the Pensions Service, or local housing associations.
How Citizens Advice Reading store your information
We also maintain a secure paper filing system in our office for registration forms and other documents that we may gather in the course of helping you with your enquiry. These documents are stored, archived, and eventually disposed of in accordance with our national data retention policy.
Although we do not offer a full email advice service, we may use email to help communication on case work on your behalf. These emails are stored securely on our Casebook client information system and within our secure organisational Google domain and eventually securely deleted in accordance with our national data retention policy.
If you use Whatsapp or Messenger to communicate with us, message transcripts and any documents you send us will be uploaded to our Casebook client information system and deleted from the device it was sent to.
How Citizens Advice Reading share your information
Depending on your circumstances we may wish to share your data with specific partner organisations in order that you can receive the most appropriate form of help to address your problem.
We will always ask for your consent before doing so, and will have a data sharing agreement in place with any such partners where this is legally necessary.
We may also share your details with the national Citizens Advice charity for the purpose of our research and campaigning policy but, again, will always ask for your specific consent before doing so.
Contact us about your information
If you have any questions about how your information is collected or used, you can contact our office during our opening hours.
Telephone: 0118 9523060
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 to stop using your information.
Who’s responsible for looking after your personal information
The national Citizens Advice charity and Citizens Advice Reading operate a system called Casebook to keep your personal information safe. This means we are each a ‘joint data controller’ for your personal information that’s stored in our Casebook system.
Citizens Advice Reading is solely responsible for all other forms of personal data we handle locally in our local office – paper files and any e-mail correspondence we may have with you and third parties.
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.