Data Protection Policy
Plaid Cymru is committed to protecting the rights and freedoms of data subjects by safely and securely their personal data in accordance with our legal obligations.
We hold personal data about our employees, volunteers, clients, suppliers and other individuals for a variety of business purposes.
This policy sets out how we seek to protect personal data and ensure that our staff, volunteers and any third parties which process personal data on our behalf understand and comply with the rules to ensure all processing is lawful. This includes all personal data they access in the course of their work, volunteering activity or contract. In particular, this policy requires staff to ensure that the Data Protection Officer (DPO) be consulted before any significant personal data processing activity is initiated to ensure that relevant compliance steps are addressed.
Failure to comply
We take compliance with this policy very seriously. Failure to comply puts both you and the organisation at risk.
The importance of this policy means that failure to comply with any requirement may lead to disciplinary action under our procedures which may result in dismissal.
If you have any questions or concerns about anything in this policy, do not hesitate to contact the DPO.
Business purposes The purposes for which personal data may be used by us:
Personnel, administrative, financial, regulatory, payroll and business development purposes.
Business purposes include the following:
- Compliance with our legal, regulatory and corporate governance obligations and good practice
- Gathering information as part of investigations by regulatory bodies or in connection with legal proceedings or requests
- Gathering information on the political opinions of electors to enable us to better target political messaging
- Ensuring business policies are adhered to (such as policies covering email and internet use)
- Member information, including contact details
- Operational reasons, such as recording transactions, training and quality control, and ensuring the confidentiality of sensitive information
- Investigating complaints
- Checking references, ensuring safe working practices, monitoring and managing staff access to systems and facilities and staff absences, administration and assessments
- Monitoring staff conduct, disciplinary matters
- Marketing the Party
- Improving services
Personal data ‘Personal data’ means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.
Personal data we gather may include: individuals' phone number, email address, postal address, educational background, financial and pay details, details of certificates and diplomas, education and skills, marital status, nationality, job title, CV and political opinions.
Special categories of personal data Special categories of data include information about an individual's racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or similar beliefs, trade union membership (or non-membership), physical or mental health or condition, criminal offences, or related proceedings, and genetic and biometric information – any use of special categories of personal data should be strictly controlled in accordance with this policy.
Data controller ‘Data controller’ means the natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data; where the purposes and means of such processing are determined by law.
Data processor ‘Processor’ means a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which processes personal data on behalf of the controller.
Processing ‘Processing’ means any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction.
Supervisory authority This is the national body responsible for data protection. The supervisory authority for our organisation is the Information Commissioner’s Office.
This policy applies to all staff, volunteers and third parties who process personal data on our behalf. We require all those noted to be familiar with this policy and comply with its terms. We may supplement or amend this policy by additional policies and guidelines from time to time. Any new or modified policy will be circulated to staff before being adopted.
The Party’s Chief Executive is ou Data Protection Officer (DPO). S/he has overall responsibility for the day-to-day implementation of this policy. You should contact the DPO for further information about this policy if necessary.
Plaid Cymru shall comply with the principles of the UK Data Protection legislation and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (the Principles). We ensure that we comply with these principles when processing personal data. The Principles include:
1. Lawful, fair and transparent: Data collection must be fair, for a legal purpose and we must be open and transparent as to how the data will be used.
2. Limited for its purpose: Data can only be collected for a specified, explicit and legitimate purpose.
3. Data minimisation: Any data collected must be adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary .
4. Accurate: The data we hold must be accurate and kept up to date.
5. Retention: We cannot store data which permits identification of data subjects longer than necessary.
6. Integrity and confidentiality: The data we hold must be kept safe and secure using appropriate technical or organisational measures.
Accountability and transparency
We must ensure accountability and transparency in how we process personal data. In support of this, we will only process personal data in accordance with the purpose(s) for which it was collected and this purpose is provided to data subjects at the point of collection. We will ensure that we inform Data Subjects of such purposes and where consent is required for processing the personal data, we will ensure we obtain data subjects’ explicit consent.
If your activity involves the collection of personal data, you are responsible for maintaining a personal data processing record of all the activities undertaken. This written record must include:
The nature of the personal data being processed,
The purpose for processing, the legal basis (e.g. legitimate interest, consent, contract), Where the legal basis is consent, a record of the individual consents must be recorded.
The method of informing data subjects, e.g. privacy notices
The physical, organisational and technical controls used to protect the personal data from theft, loss, misuse, unauthorised access or disclosure.
Where a new personal data processing activity is being considered or changes to an existing personal data processing activity iare being planned, you must complete a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA). Please contact your DPO for further support and guidance on DPIAs.
All personal data processing activities must be reviewed and approved by the DPO prior to any personal data processing activity commencing.
Your responsibility is to comply with each of the Principles whenever you process personal information during your activities as a member of staff, volunteer or contractor. To comply with data protection laws and the accountability and transparency Principles, we must demonstrate compliance. You are responsible for understanding your particular responsibilities to ensure we are able to demonstrate our compliance (see Supporting Guidance).
Fair and lawful processing
We must process personal data fairly and lawfully in accordance with individuals’ rights under the first Principle. This generally means that we should not process personal data unless the individual whose details we are processing has consented to this happening.
If we cannot apply a lawful basis (explained below), our processing does not conform to the first principle and will be unlawful. Data subjects have the right to have any data unlawfully processed erased
Plaid Cymru is classified as a data controller and data processor. We must maintain our appropriate registration with the Information Commissioners Office in order to continue lawfully controlling and processing data.
As a data processor, we must comply with our contractual obligations and act only on the documented instructions of the data controller. If we at any point determine the purpose and means of processing out with the instructions of the controller, we shall be considered a data controller and therefore breach our contract with the controller and have the same liability as the controller. As a data processor, we must:
Not use a sub-processor without written authorisation of the data controller
Co-operate fully with the ICO or other supervisory authority
Ensure the security of the processing
Keep accurate records of processing activities
Notify the controller of any personal data breaches
If you are in any doubt about how we handle data, contact the DPO for clarification.
Lawful basis for processing data
Prior to processing personal data, we must establish a lawful basis for the processing. Ensure that any data you are responsible for managing has a written lawful basis approved by the DPO. It is your responsibility to check the lawful basis for any data you are working with and ensure all of your actions comply with the lawful basis. At least one of the following conditions must apply whenever we process personal data:
1. Public interest
As a registered political party, we have an exemption that enables us to process personal data where that is necessary for:
“An activity that supports or promotes democratic engagement”
This applies to campaigning, fundraising, communicating with electors, surveying and opinion gathering (canvassing). We consider that Party members would also expect us to contact them in a range of ways that help them engage in democratic processes. Further information on this lawful basis is found in a separate document (Public Interest).
We hold recent, clear, explicit, and defined consent for the individual’s data to be processed for a specific purpose.
The processing is necessary to fulfil or prepare a contract where a Third Party deals with data on behalf of Plaid Cymru.
Deciding which condition to rely on
If you are making an assessment of the lawful basis, you must first establish that the processing is necessary. This means the processing must be a targeted, appropriate way of achieving the stated purpose. You cannot rely on a lawful basis if you can reasonable achieve the same purpose by some other means.
Remember that more than one basis may apply, and you should rely on what will best fit the purpose, not what is easiest.
Consider the following factors and document your answers:
What is the purpose for processing the data?
Can it reasonably be done in a different way?
Is there a choice as to whether or not to process the data?
Who does the processing benefit?
After selecting the lawful basis, is this the same as the lawful basis the data subject would expect?
What is the impact of the processing on the individual?
Are you in a position of power over them?
Are they a vulnerable person?
Would they be likely to object to the processing?
Are you able to stop the processing at any time on request, and have you factored in how to do this?
Our commitment to the first Principle requires us to document this process and show that we have considered which lawful basis best applies to each processing purpose, and fully justify these decisions. In relation to legitimate interest, we have conducted a Legitimate Interest Assessment.
We must also ensure that individuals whose data is being processed by us are informed of the lawful basis for processing their data, as well as the purpose. This should occur via a privacy notice. This applies whether we have collected the data directly from the individual, or from another source.
If you are responsible for making an assessment of the lawful basis and implementing the privacy notice for the processing activity, you must have this approved by the DPO.
Special categories of personal data
Previously known as sensitive personal data, this means data about an individual which is more sensitive, so requires more protection. This type of data could create more significant risks to a person’s fundamental rights and freedoms, for example by putting them at risk of unlawful discrimination. The special categories include information about an individual’s:
trade union membership
biometrics (where used for ID purposes)
Our use of special categories of personal data is limited to data for employment purposes (including equality monitoring) and the canvassing of political opinion. In the former case we will require the data subject's explicit consent to do this. In the latter case we have applied the public interest grounds. The condition for processing special categories of personal data must comply with the law. If we do not have a lawful basis for processing special categories of data that processing activity must cease.
Analysing and documenting the type of personal data we hold
Checking procedures to ensure they cover all the rights of the individual
Identify the lawful basis for processing data
Ensuring consent procedures are lawful
Implementing and reviewing procedures to detect, report and investigate personal data breaches
Store data in safe and secure ways
Assess the risk that could be posed to individual rights and freedoms should data be compromised
Fully understand your data protection obligations
Check that any data processing activities you are dealing with comply with our policy and are justified
Do not use data in any unlawful way
Do not store data incorrectly, be careless with it or otherwise cause us to breach data protection laws and our policies through your actions
Comply with this policy at all times
Raise any concerns, notify any breaches or errors, and report anything suspicious or contradictory to this policy or our legal obligations without delay
Report any personal data breaches or suspected breaches to the DPO as soon as the breach is detected as we only have 72 hours to report breaches to the ICO
Responsibilities of the Data Protection Officer
Keeping the NEC and other relevant Committees updated about data protection responsibilities, risks and issues
Reviewing all data protection procedures and policies on a regular basis
Arranging data protection training and advice for all staff members and those included in this policy
Answering questions on data protection from staff, NEC members and other stakeholders
Responding to individuals such as clients and employees who wish to know which data is being held on them by us
Checking and approving with third parties that handle the company’s data any contracts or agreement regarding data processing
Reporting personal data breaches with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and informing the NEC of all reported breaches or suspected breaches
Responsibilities of our contracted IT provider
Ensure all systems, services, software and equipment meet our acceptable security standards
Checking and scanning security hardware and software regularly to ensure it is functioning properly
Researching third-party services, such as cloud services the company is considering using to store or process data
Processing personal data solely in accordance with the data controller’s written instructions
Returning or securely destroying all personal data on completion of the contract or in the event a contract is terminated early for any reason
Reporting all personal data breaches as soon as they are detected and to work with the data controller and the ICO in resolving any breach incident
Accuracy and relevance
We will ensure that any personal data we process is accurate, adequate, relevant and not excessive, given the purpose for which it was obtained. We will not process personal data obtained for one purpose for any unconnected purpose unless the individual concerned has agreed to this or would otherwise reasonably expect this.
Individuals may ask that we correct inaccurate personal data relating to them. If you believe that information is inaccurate you should record the fact that the accuracy of the information is disputed and inform the DPO.
You must keep personal data secure against loss, unauthorised access or misuse. Where other organisations process personal data as a service on our behalf, the DPO will establish what, if any, additional specific data security arrangements need to be implemented in contracts with those third party organisations.
Storing data securely
In cases when data is stored on printed paper, it should be kept in a secure place where unauthorised personnel cannot access it
Printed data should be shredded when it is no longer needed
Data stored on a computer should be protected by strong passwords that are changed regularly. We encourage all staff to use a password manager to create and store their passwords.
Data stored on mobile devices (including laptops, CDs or memory sticks) must be encrypted or password protected and locked away securely when they are not being used
The DPO must approve any cloud used to store data
Servers containing personal data must be kept in a secure location, away from general office space
Data should be regularly backed up in line with the company’s backup procedures
Data should never be saved directly to mobile devices such as laptops, tablets or smartphones
All servers containing sensitive data must be approved and protected by security software
All possible technical measures must be put in place to keep data secure
We must retain personal data for no longer than is necessary. What is necessary will depend on the circumstances of each case, taking into account the reasons that the personal data was obtained, but should be determined in a manner consistent with our data retention guidelines.
Transferring data internationally
There are restrictions on international transfers of personal data. You must not transfer personal data abroad, or anywhere else outside of normal rules and procedures without express permission from the DPO.
Rights of individuals
Individuals have rights to their data which we must respect and comply with to the best of our ability. We must ensure individuals can exercise their rights in the following ways:
1. Right to be informed: Providing privacy notices that are concise, transparent, intelligible and easily accessible, free of charge, that are written in clear and plain language; keeping a record of how we use personal data to demonstrate compliance with the need for accountability and transparency.
2. Right of access: Enabling individuals to access their personal data and supplementary information; allowing individuals to be aware of and verify the lawfulness of the processing activities (see Subject Access Request below).
3. Right to rectification: We must rectify or amend the personal data of the individual if requested because it is inaccurate or incomplete; This must be done without delay, and no later than one month. This can be extended to two months with permission from the DPO.
4. Right to erasure: We must delete or remove an individual’s data if requested and there is no compelling reason for its continued processing (see Right to erasure below).
5. Right to restrict processing: We must comply with any request to restrict, block, or otherwise suppress the processing of personal data; we are permitted to store personal data if it has been restricted, but not process it further. We must retain enough data to ensure the right to restriction is respected in the future.
6. Right to data portability: We must provide individuals with their data so that they can reuse it for their own purposes or across different services; We must provide it in a commonly used, machine-readable format, and send it directly to another controller if requested (see Right to data portability below).
7. Right to object: We must respect the right of an individual to object to data processing based on legitimate interest; we must respect the right of an individual to object to direct marketing, including profiling (see Right to object below).
8. Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling: We must respect the rights of individuals in relation to automated decision making and profiling; Individuals retain their right to object to such automated processing, have the rationale explained to them, and request human intervention.
Subject Access Requests
An individual has the right to receive confirmation that their data is being processed, access to their personal data and supplementary information which means the information which should be provided in a privacy notice.
We must provide an individual with a copy of the information they request, free of charge. This must occur without delay, and within one month of receipt. We endeavour to provide data subjects access to their information in commonly used electronic formats, and where possible, provide direct access to the information through a remote accessed secure system.
If complying with the request is complex or numerous, the deadline can be extended by two months, but the individual must be informed within one month. You must obtain approval from the DPO before extending the deadline.
We can refuse to respond to certain requests, and can, in circumstances of the request being manifestly unfounded or excessive, charge a fee. If the request is for a large quantity of data, we can request the individual specify the information they are requesting. This can only be done with express permission from the DPO.
Once a subject access request has been made, you must not change or amend any of the data that has been requested. Doing so is a criminal offence.
Everyone’s role is to identify a Subject Access Request as soon as it is received, as we only have one month to provide the information to the data subject.
Data portability requests
We must provide the data requested in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format. We must provide this data either to the individual who has requested it, or to the data controller they have requested it be sent to. This must be done free of charge and without delay, and no later than one month. This can be extended to two months for complex or numerous requests, but the individual must be informed of the extension within one month and you must receive express permission from the DPO first.
Right to erasure
Individuals have a right to have their data erased and for processing to cease in the following circumstances:
Where the personal data is no longer necessary in relation to the purpose for which it was originally collected and/or processed
Where consent is withdrawn
Where the individual objects to processing and there is no overriding legitimate interest for continuing the processing
The personal data was unlawfully processed or otherwise breached data protection laws
To comply with a legal obligation
The processing relates to a child
There are no grounds that will commonly apply to Plaid Cymru under which we could refuse to comply with a right to erasure.
If personal data that needs to be erased has been passed onto other parties or recipients, they must be contacted and informed of their obligation to erase the data. If the individual asks, we must inform them of those recipients.
The right to object
Individuals have the right to object to their data being used on grounds relating to their particular situation. There are no grounds commonly applicable to Plaid Cymru under which we could refuse to cease processing an individual’s data.
We must always inform the individual of their right to object at the first point of communication, i.e. in the privacy notice. We must offer a way for individuals to object online.
The right to restrict automated profiling or decision making
We may only carry out automated profiling or decision making that has a legal or similarly significant effect on an individual in the following circumstances:
It is necessary for the entry into or performance of a contract.
Based on the individual’s explicit consent.
Otherwise authorised by law.
It is Plaid Cymru’s belief that any automated profiling that takes place has no significant effect on any individual.
A Privacy Notice must be supplied at the time the data is obtained if obtained directly from the data subject. If the data is being used to communicate with the individual, then the Privacy Notice must be supplied at the latest when the first communication takes place.
If disclosure to another recipient is envisaged, then the Privacy Notice must be supplied prior to the data being disclosed.
Privacy Notices must be up front, and not buried within other information, they must be clear, concise, transparent, intelligible and easily accessible. It is essential the Privacy Notices are written in clear and plain language.
The following information must be included in a privacy notice to all data subjects:
Identification and contact information of the data controller and the data protection officer
The purpose of processing the data and the lawful basis for doing so
The legitimate interests of the controller or third party, if applicable
The right to withdraw consent at any time, if applicable
The category of the personal data (only for data not obtained directly from the data subject)
Any recipient or categories of recipients of the personal data
Detailed information of any transfers to third countries and safeguards in place
The retention period of the data or the criteria used to determine the retention period, including details for the data disposal after the retention period
The right to lodge a complaint with the ICO, and internal complaint procedures
Any existence of automated decision making, including profiling and information about how those decisions are made, their significances and consequences to the data subject
As a data controller and data processor, we must have written contracts in place with any third party data controllers and/or data processors that we use. The contract must contain specific clauses which set out our and their liabilities, obligations and responsibilities.
As a data controller, we must only appoint processors who can provide sufficient guarantees under UK Data Protection laws and GDPR that the rights of data subjects will be respected and protected.
As a data processor, we must only act on the documented instructions of a controller. We acknowledge our responsibilities as a data processor under GDPR and we will protect and respect the rights of data subjects.
Our contracts must comply with the standards set out by the ICO. Our contracts with data controllers and/or data processors must set out the subject matter and duration of the processing, the nature and stated purpose of the processing activities, the types of personal data and categories of data subject, and the obligations and rights of the controller.
At a minimum, our contracts must include terms that specify:
Acting only on written instructions
Those involved in processing the data are subject to a duty of confidence
Agreed measures will be taken to ensure the security of the processing, including physical, organisational and security controls
Sub-processors will only be engaged with the prior consent of the controller and under a written contract
The controller will assist the processor in dealing with subject access requests and allowing data subjects to exercise their rights under GDPR
The processor will report all breaches and suspected breaches as soon as a breach has been identified and will assist the controller in meeting its GDPR obligations in relation to the security of processing, notification of data breaches and implementation of Data Protection Impact Assessments
Delete or return all personal data at the end of the contract
Submit to regular audits and inspections, and provide whatever information necessary for the controller and processor to meet their legal obligations.
Nothing will be done by either the controller or processor to infringe on GDPR.
Not transferring any personal data outside of the EEA without the Data Controllers written consent.
Criminal offence data
Any criminal record checks are justified by law. Criminal record checks cannot be undertaken based solely on the consent of the subject. We cannot keep a comprehensive register of criminal offence data. All data relating to criminal offences is considered to be a special category of personal data and must be treated as such. You must have approval from the DPO prior to carrying out a criminal record check.
Audits, monitoring and training
Regular data audits to manage and mitigate risks will inform the data register. This contains information on what data is held, where it is stored, how it is used, who is responsible and any further regulations or retention timescales that may be relevant. You must conduct a regular data audit as defined by the DPO and normal procedures.
Everyone must observe this policy. The DPO has overall responsibility for this policy. Plaid Cymru will keep this policy under review and amend or change it as required. You must notify the DPO of any breaches of this policy. You must comply with this policy fully and at all times.
You will receive adequate training on provisions of data protection law specific for your role. You must complete all training as requested. If you move role or responsibilities, you are responsible for requesting new data protection training relevant to your new role or responsibilities.
If you require additional training on data protection matters, contact the DPO.
Personal Data breaches: identification and notification.
Any breach of this policy or of data protection laws must be reported as soon as practically possible. This means as soon as you have become aware of a breach. Plaid Cymru has a legal obligation to report any data breaches to the ICO within 72 hours.
If a breach is identified, they must be reported to the DPO without delay. Please see the Personal Data Breach procedure below.
All members of staff, volunteers and contractors have an obligation to report actual or potential data protection compliance failures. This allows us to:
Investigate the failure and take remedial steps if necessary
Maintain a register of compliance failures
Notify the ICO of any compliance failures that are material either in their own right or as part of a pattern of failures
Any member of staff who fails to notify of a breach, or is found to have known or suspected a breach has occurred but has not followed the correct reporting procedures will be liable to disciplinary action.
Please refer to our Data Protection Officer for our reporting procedure.
It is the responsibility of the DPO to report breaches to the ICO, and in the event the DPO is not available, the NEC will determine who will report to the ICO.
Personal data breach procedure
1. Immediately upon determining that a data breach has taken place, the data processor, volunteer, staff member or other person shall contact the DPO. The following information shall be made available:
a. The nature of the breach (the categories and approximate number of data subjects concerned)
b. The likely consequences of the personal data breach
c. Recommendations for measures to be taken to contain the breach and/or to address it and mitigate any adverse effects
2. The DPO will try to contain the breach as far as is practicable.
3. The DPO will assess whether or not the breach is material in its own right (i.e. brings a risk to someone’s individual rights and freedoms), or demonstrates a pattern of failures that requires reporting. The risk assessment matrix may be useful in this regard.
4. If either of these cases applies, the DPO will submit a report to the ICO no later than 72 hours after the data controller became aware of the breach .
5. If there is a high risk of adversely affecting individuals’ rights and freedoms, those individuals shall also be notified without undue delay .
6. The DPO shall report all notifiable breaches to the subsequent meeting of the NEC, or sooner if the breach is particularly serious.
7. If the DPO determines that the ICO does not need to be informed, that decision must be documented so that it may be justified to the supervisory authority.
8. In all cases, the breach will be added to the register of breaches that is maintained at Tŷ Gwynfor.
9. In all cases, the failure will be investigated and remedial steps taken if necessary to ensure no repetition.