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Social Security’s privacy policy and retention schedule

Personal information is anything that can identify you as an individual, either on its own or by reference to other information.  

We are serious about looking after your personal information and protecting your privacy because we want you to have trust and confidence in our department and the work we do.

We’d like to explain how we look after your personal information and protect your privacy.

There are rules about what personal information we process. When we say “Process” we mean how we collect, record, hold, use, share and ultimately dispose of your information.

You have rights relating to your personal information. Your rights here in Jersey are explained in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018. They are also described below.

All data processing we undertake is carried out under the requirements of the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018.

In line with the Law, we are registered with the The Office of the Information Commissioner as a “controller”. Our registration number is 17756. A controller makes decisions about how to use your data.

The Data Protection Law requires us to have a privacy statement which tells you how we process your information. This is our main privacy statement.

As you use our services you will find more detailed privacy statements that are specifically relevant to each department you may come into contact with. These can be found on our privacy policy, on our forms and in our correspondence to you. There is also a list of them below.

Why we process your personal information

We process your information so that we can:

  • collect any social security contributions
  • assess and award benefits
  • support you in the workplace
  • confirm your residential and employment status
  • ensure the award of, and enforce, appropriate business licenses and staffing permissions
  • make decisions which affect you
  • respond effectively to your enquiries
  • update you with new or changed services
  • secure services on your behalf at your request such as training
  • investigate complaints
  • investigate possible fraudulent activity
  • contact you regarding your claims or contributions or with related information you may find interesting or useful
  • update other States of Jersey departments, and organisations we work with, with relevant information about you. We will only share data if we have a legal basis to do so, or failing that we will seek your consent

We build business rules into our computer systems, based on our laws, which help us process your information more efficiently. No automated decisions are made.

How we use information 

Sometimes we may use your personal information to:

  • develop policies and services
  • review and plan for benefits and services
  • help with audit and accounting
  • develop learning and training
  • improve communication and help prevent fraud and error
  • provide statistical information which will help with our forward planning
  • respond to Freedom of Information Requests
  • enable the maintenance and upgrade of our computer systems by external suppliers. When this occurs we make every effort to protect your information and where possible ensure that the data does not directly identify you

When we do this we will make sure that whenever we can, and when appropriate, the information is anonymised. This means it cannot be traced back to you personally. 

Any reports or findings coming out of this kind of work will never contain information which can identify you personally. We will never request or review more information than we need to produce the work.

The States of Jersey departments are focused on working better together. This will see the development of new databases containing your data. These databases will have strict and secure access permissions, meaning that only the people who need to see your data will have access to it. We will only share data if we have a legal basis to do so, or failing that we will seek your consent.

Types of personal information we process

Information about you that we may process incudes:

  • basic personal details such as your name, address, date of birth and family members, place of birth, gender, nationality
  • information about your life events, for example when you got married
  • your contact details; telephone, address or email
  • records of visits or contacts you’ve had with us 
  • records of all social security contributions paid by you or by an employer on your behalf, along with details of your wages
  • details of any claims and benefits including medical certificates, Income Support, Long Term Care and pension claims
  • information from your employer, doctor (GP), carer or anyone else that helps us support you
  • your employment history, including dates and name of employer, if a permanent contract or not, and your contracted hours (full-time, part-time, zero hours
  • any training or support you’ve received in finding work
  • if you are a business owner, and the name of the business

If you have visited us in any of our buildings and locations it is possible that you have been recorded on our CCTV. These recordings are kept for a short time before being deleted. The Law allows us to use CCTV for the prevention and detection of crime. 

If you have spoken to us on the phone then it is possible the call will have been recorded. These recordings are kept for a short time before being deleted. They may be added to your individual records where necessary. 

Where we get your personal information from 

We get your personal information from:

  • the information you or your family supply to us on forms, emails, by phone conversations and face to face visits
  • information you provide to us by using our website
  • your employer
  • other States of Jersey Departments, for example the Taxes office or organisations with whom we have data sharing agreements
  • people or organisations who you have given consent to share information with us>
  • people or organisations where the Law allows them to share information about you with us

If you don’t tell us something we need to know, your personal records may not be accurate and this could affect your contributions or benefits and services provided. 

How your information is protected

Protecting your privacy and looking after your personal information is important to us. We work hard to make sure that we have the right policies, training and processes in place to protect our manual and electronic information systems from loss, corruption or misuse. Where necessary we use encryption, particularly if we are transferring information out of the department. Encryption means the information is made unreadable until it reaches its destination. 

We take every reasonable step to make sure that we keep your personal information safe in line with best practice, the Data Protection Law and any other relevant Laws.

Our staff:

  • have a legal duty to keep your information confidential
  • receive annual training on the Data Protection Law
  • swear an oath of secrecy in the Royal Court

Our buildings are secure and we use CCTV to monitor access areas. 

We only hold your information for as long as it is needed. The time periods we keep your information for are listed in our retention schedules and in some of our more detailed privacy statements. 

Transferring your information to other countries

When we need to transfer your information outside of Jersey, for example if you live abroad and are in receipt of a pension, we will only do so if we have a legal basis, or failing that we will seek your consent and only if we are reassured that your information is still secure when transferred.  

Transferring information to countries within the European Economic Area (EEA) is seen as relatively safe because these countries have strong data protection laws in place. There is a list of countries outside of the EEA who are also deemed safe.

If we need to transfer your information outside of the EEA or to a country which is not on the list of safe countries, we will take extra steps to keep your information safe.

When we need to share your information 

We sometimes need to share some of your information with other States of Jersey departments or within the teams in Social Security. We will only share data if we have a legal basis to do so, or failing that we will seek your consent. We will only share the information that is relevant at the time and not your whole record

Further information about data sharing can be found in our more detailed privacy statements.

We won’t pass on your details to any marketing companies. We won’t pass on your information to anyone. We will only share data if we have a legal basis to do so, or have sought your consent, and only if it is necessary and within the law. 

Your rights regarding the personal information we hold about you

Under the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018 you have certain rights relating to the information we process about you. These rights are to:

  • be told and understand what your information is being used for
  • access your record and receive it in an easy to use format
  • ask us to make amendments to information we hold about you which is incorrect. We may ask you to provide evidence of information that needs to be changed
  • withdraw any consent you may have previously given us
  • object to us processing your information. If you do object then we can only stop processing your information if the Law allows us to

If you want to find out more about your rights, or make a complaint about how your information is being handled, contact our Data Protection Officer using the contact information below.

If you are not satisfied with our response you can contact the Office of the Jersey Information Commissioner.

Access to your record

Your social security record can be accessed by:

  • you
  • staff carrying out their duties
  • other people (third parties) who have a legal right such as auditors, Tribunals or Courts

Your personal details will only be given to a third party with your consent, or when the law requires it. 

On rare occasions there may be legal restrictions which mean staff may not be able to share some information with you. 

You can ask us for a copy of the information we hold about you

You are legally entitled to request a list of, or a copy of any information that we hold about you. You can submit a subject access request (SAR) using our online form

However where our records are not held in a way that easily identifies you, for example a land registry, we may not be able to provide you with a copy of your information, although we will do everything we can to comply with your request.

If you need to know something simple from your record, such as a key date or when your next benefit payment is due, call the Social Security Department on +44 (0)1534 445505. 

Complaints

If you have an enquiry or concern regarding the States of Jersey processing your personal data you can:

  • call +44 (0) 1534 440107
  • email the Data Protection Team
  • write to The Data Protection Team, Cyril Le Marquand House, The Parade, St Helier, Jersey, JE4 8QT

You can also complain to the Information Commissioner about the way your information is being used:

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