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
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. This page covers how we, as your local charity, handle your information locally in our offices.
- You can check our main Citizens Advice policy for how we handle most of your personal information
How Citizens Advice West Suffolk collect your data
We follow the national policy on how we collect your data. We always ask for your explicit written consent (or verbal consent if you contact us by phone) to collect your data in order to support you with your enquiry and any surrounding issues we identify.
What Citizens Advice West Suffolk ask for
How Citizens Advice West Suffolk 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. You could give us authority to speak to West Suffolk local authority about an issue with housing or council tax or a Social Landlord.
How Citizens Advice West Suffolk store your information
Your information is stored on the national Citizens Advice database and on our servers in Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill and on our PCs and some portable devices to which only staff and volunteers have access. For specific areas of advice some of your details may be loaded onto secure external partner platforms, for example if we provide debt advice we may load specific information onto the Experian website.
How Citizens Advice West Suffolk share your information
If we need to act on your behalf we will obtain explicit signed consent via a Form of Authority to speak to a third party on your behalf. This could be about a dispute with the Housing Department at the Local Authority; with a creditor; with the Department for Work and Pensions.
If we need to share specific information with a funder for a project we will gain your explicit consent to do so with a form you need to sign.
Contact Citizens Advice West Suffolk about your information
If you have any questions about how your information is collected or used, you can contact our office.
Adviceline Suffolk 0808 278 7868
Or send a letter to
The Risbygate Centre
90 Risbygate Street
Bury St. Edmunds
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.