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Privacy & Cookies Policy
At Citizens Advice 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 anyone
We collect and use the details you give us so we can help you. We have a ‘legitimate interest’ to do this under data protection law. This means it lets us carry out our aims and goals as an organisation. We'll always explain how we use your information.
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 and the Data Protection Act 2018.
This page covers how we, as your local charity, handle your information locally in our offices.
How Citizens Advice West Somerset collect your data
We ask for your permission to hold your details to assist you with your enquiry or when you give us personal information. We will ask you to sign a form when giving us information in person. On the phone we will ask for your verbal consent to hold this information, by email, SMS & webforms we will record the information that you send to us and will assume that you have given us permission to hold your contact details and the permission supplied. If you leave a message on our answerphone the message will alert you that we will keep your contact details and assume that we may return the call and leave a message.
When you have given us consent to do we may collect information (data) from other organisations and hold this on your casefile. This is normally held securely in our electronic system and once scanned any physical data will be securely shredded.
When you give us authority to act on your behalf, for example to help you with a Universal Credit claim or to contact Somerset West & Taunton on your behalf, we’ll need to share information with that third party. We ask for your specific consent to share information in this way.
How Citizens Advice West Somerset store your information
Your details are held in a secure national database called casebook and some correspondence will be held on our secure server at out main office.
If you give your consent your details may be held in specific cloud based applications ie Turn 2 Us benefit calculator, Microsoft 365 for emails, Jot Form for application forms and training records.
How Citizens Advice West Somerset share your information
Our policy is to share information with agencies when you give your consent for us to do so. We will ask you to sign a specfic consent form to share data or to refer your details to another agency. This consent is time limited, for a specific purpose and to specific agencies in agreed locations.
Contact Citizens Advice West Somerset about your information
If you have any questions about how your information is collected or used, you can contact our office.
Telephone: 0800 802 1808, open Monday/Tuesday/Thursday and Friday 10am-3pm (answerphone at all other times)
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 stop using your information
Who’s responsible for looking after your personal information
The national Citizens Advice charity and your local Citizens Advice operate a system called Casebook to keep your personal information safe. This means they’re a ‘joint data controller’ for your personal information that’s stored in our Casebook system.
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.