Data protection

Harrow Council's Privacy Notice

At Harrow Council we care about your privacy.

It is our hope that this policy notice makes it easy for you to understand how we manage your personal information. This relates to off and online data, for example, when you visit our website or visit our buildings.

The policy explains the information we collect, the purpose for collecting it, and who we may share it with.

Depending on which service you use we may need to provide you with more information about the use of your personal information. See all our departmental privacy notices listed at the bottom of this page.

How do we collect information from you?

We collect information from you in different ways, mainly by:

  • Letter
  • Email
  • Face-to-face
  • Telephone
  • Online forms
  • ‘Cookies’ on our website

Why do we collect your information?

We collect and process information about you, so that we can carry out our functions as a local authority and to deliver public services.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • Assessing benefit claims
  • Council tax and business rates collection
  • Providing social services and education
  • Providing commercial services including the enforcement of parking regulations and restrictions
  • Providing non-commercial services such as waste collection
  • Local and national fraud initiatives and data matching under these initiatives
  • Preventing and detecting fraud or crime including the use of CCTV
  • Providing leisure and cultural services
  • Carrying out health and public awareness campaign
  • Managing our property
  • Keeping our own accounts and records up-to-date
  • Promoting the services we provide
  • Marketing our local tourism
  • Carrying out surveys
  • Carrying out research (including research relating to health)
  • Internal financial support and corporate functions
  • Managing archived records for historical and research reasons
  • The activities we need to carry out as a data controller and public authority

Personal information that we collect

We collect the following types of personal information:

  • Personal and family details
  • Lifestyle and social circumstances
  • Financial details
  • Employment and education details
  • Housing needs
  • Visual images, personal appearance and behaviour
  • Licences or permits held
  • Student and pupil records
  • Business activities
  • Case file information
  • Goods and services

Special categories of personal information that we collect

We may also collect special categories of personal information that include:

  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Political opinions
  • Religious or philosophical beliefs
  • Trade union membership
  • Genetic data, biometric data to identify a person
  • Data about health
  • Data about a person’s sex life or sexual orientation

We will only collect this data for the intended purpose. However if we use it for any other purpose we will normally ask you first. In some cases, we may use your information for another purpose if we have a legal duty to do so.

We may also use your information:

  • To provide a complete service to you
  • To prevent and detect fraud
  • if there is a risk of serious harm or threat to life

Sometimes we share your information

We will sometimes need to share your information with other organisations and departments within the council, such as:

  • Educational establishments
  • Housing associations and landlords
  • Health and social care organisations
  • The police
  • Government bodies
  • Third party contractors

We will only share your information with these organisations where it is appropriate and legal to do so.

We may also share information:

  • If there is a risk of serious harm or threat to life
  • For the prevention and detection of fraud or crime
  • Assessment of any tax or duty
  • If we need to do so by any court or law

Where this is necessary, we will adhere to all aspects of the General Data Protection Regulation.

Transferring information

It may be necessary to transfer your personal information overseas.

Where we need to do this, your information may be transferred to countries or territories around the world

If we do transfer any information we will adhere to all aspects of the Data Protection law.

How long do we keep your information?

We will only keep your information for as long as the law states we need to. We will also keep your information to provide you with the necessary services.

You can ask to see what  information we hold about you by visiting our Subject Access Request page.

We may anonymise some personal data you provide, to ensure you cannot be identified. We will use this data to effectively target and plan the provision of services.

Your rights and access to your information

You have the right to request a copy of the information that we hold about you.

The General Data Protection Regulation gives you more rights about the information we hold about you and how we use it, including the right to:

  • Withdraw consent and the right to object and restrict further processing of your data - this may affect the service we provide to you
  • Request to have your data deleted where there is no reason for us to continue to use it and there is no legitimate reason for keeping it
  • Request your data to be corrected if it is inaccurate or incomplete
  • Have your data transferred or copied should you move to another authority
  • Not be subject to automated decision-making including profiling

To request information that we hold about you visit our Subject Access Request page.

Changes in your personal circumstances

You must let us know immediately if there are any changes in your personal details. This is so we can maintain an accurate and up-to-date record of your information. Please contact the relevant service to inform them of change.

If you have any concerns

You have a right to complain to us if you think we have not complied with our obligation for handling your personal information. For further details please visit our Compliments and Complaints page.

If you are not satisfied with our response, you have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). You can report a concern by visiting the ICO website.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

As we create new services, we may need to amend the privacy notice. We will inform you of any changes on this page.

Departmental privacy notices

There are a number of individual privacy notices for services from the council, please visit this page to review this information.

Contact details

We are registered as a Data Controller under the Data Protection legislation.

To understand how we use your personal information you may need to refer to any personal contact from us. You can also check any privacy notices we have provided or contact the service you have used.

You can contact us by:


Post: Marsha White, Harrow Council, PO Box 1358, Harrow HA3 3QN