General Data Protection Regulation Policy

 

Introduction

 

Soapopolis Ltd also referred as Soapopolis.com needs to gather and use certain information about individuals.

 

These can include customers, suppliers, business contacts, employees and other people the organisation has a relationship with or may need to contact.

 

This policy describes how this personal data must be collected, handled and stored to meet the company’s data protection standards and to comply with the law.

 

Why this policy exists

 

This data protection policy ensures Soapopolis Ltd:

  • Complies with Data Protection Law and follows good practice

  • Protect the rights of staff, customers and partners

  • Is open about how it stores and processes individuals’ data

  • Protects itself from the risks of a data breach

 

Data Protection Law

 

The Data Protection Act 1998 describes how organisation – including Soapopolis Ltd – must collect, handle and store personal information.

 

These rules apply regardless of whether data is stored electronically, on paper or on other materials.

 

To comply with the law, personal information must be collected and used fairly, stored safely and not disclosed unlawfully.

 

The Data Protection Act is underpinned by eight important principles. These say that personal data must:

 

  1. Be processed fairly and lawfully

  2. Be obtained only for specific, lawful purposes

  3. Be adequate, relevant and not excessive

  4. Be accurate and kept up to date

  5. Not be held for any longer than necessary

  6. Processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects

  7. Be protected in appropriate ways

  8. Not be transferred outside the UK

 

People, risks and responsibilities

 

Policy Scope

 

This policy applies to:

  • The head office and staff of Soapopolis Ltd

  • All customers, suppliers and others working alongside Soapopolis Ltd

 

It applies to all data that Soapopolis Ltd hold relating to identifiable individuals, even if that information technically falls outside of the Data Protection Act 1998. This can include:

  • Names of individuals

  • Postal addresses

  • Email addresses

  • Telephone numbers

  • Any other information relating to individuals

 

Data Protection Risks

 

This policy helps to protect Soapopolis Ltd from some very real data security risks, including:

  • Breaches of confidentiality. Ie: information being given out inappropriately.

  • Failing to offer choice. Ie: individuals should be free to choose how the company uses data relating to them.

  • Reputational damage. Ie: the company could suffer if hackers successfully gained access to sensitive data.

 

Responsibilities

 

Everyone who works for or with Soapopolis Ltd has some responsibility for ensuring data is collected, stored and handled appropriately.

 

Each team that handles personal data must ensure that it is handled and processed in line with this policy and data protection principles.

 

However, these people have key areas of responsibility:

 

  • The board of Directors is ultimately responsible for ensuring that Soapopolis Ltd meets its legal obligations

 

  • Senior Management are responsible for:

  • Keeping the board updated about data protection responsibilities, risks and issues.

  • Reviewing all data protection procedures and related policies, in line with an agreed schedule.

  • Handling data protection matter from staff and anyone else covered by this policy.

  • Dealing with request from individuals to see the data Soapopolis Ltd holds about them (also called “subject access requests’).

  • Checking and approving any contracts or agreements with third parties that may handle the company’s sensitive data.

 

  • All Staff and Enlightened IT Services are responsible for:

  • Ensuring all systems, services and equipment used for storing data meet acceptable security standards.

  • Performing regular checks and scans to ensure security hardware and software is functioning properly.

  • Evaluating any third party services the company is considering using to store or process data (ie: cloud computing services)

 

  • Senior Management is responsible for:

  • Approving any data protection statement attached to communications such as emails and letters

  • Where necessary, working with other staff to ensure marketing initiatives abide by data protection principles.

 

General staff guidelines

 

  • The only people able to access data covered by this policy should be those who need it for their work.

  • Data should not be shared informally. When access to confidential information is required, employees can request it by writing.

  • Soapopolis Ltd will provide training to all employees to help them understand their responsibilities when handling data.

  • Employees should keep all data secure, by taking sensible precautions and following the given guidelines.

  • In particular, strong passwords must be used, and they should never be shared.

  • Personal data should not be disclosed to unauthorised people, either within the company or externally.

  • Data should be regularly reviewed and updated if it is found to be out of date. If no longer required, it should be deleted and disposed of.

  • Employees should request help from their manager if they are unsure about any aspect of data protection.

 

Data Storage

 

These rules describe how and where data should be safely stored.

When data is stored on paper, it should be kept in a secure place where unauthorised people cannot see it.

 

These guidelines also apply to data that is usually stored electronically but has been printed out for some reason:

  • When not required, the paper or files should be kept in a locked drawer or filing cabinet.

  • Employees should make sure paper and printouts are not left where unauthorised people could see them (like on a printer).

  • Data printouts should be shredded and disposed of securely when no longer required.

 

When data is stored electronically, it must be protected from unauthorised access, accidental deletion and malicious hacking attempts:

  • Data should be protected by strong passwords.

  • If data is stored on removable media, these should be kept locked away securely when not being used.

  • Data should only be stored on designative drives and servers, and should only be uploaded to an approved cloud computing services.

  • Servers containing personal data will be sited in a secure location, away from general office space.

Data Use

 

Personal data is of no value to Soapopolis Ltd unless the business can make use of it. However, it is when personal data is accessed and used that it can be at the greatest risk of loss, corruption or theft:

  • When working with personal data, employees should ensure the screens of their computers are always locked when left unattended.

  • Personal data should not be shared informally. In particular, it should never be sent by email, as this form of communication is not secure.

  • Personal data should never be transferred outside the EEA.

 

Data accuracy

 

The law requires Soapopolis Ltd to take reasonable steps to ensure data is kept accurate and up to date.

The more important it is that the personal data is accurate, the greater the effort Soapopolis Ltd should put into ensuring its accuracy.

 

It is the responsibility of all employees who work with data to take reasonable steps to ensure it is kept as accurate and up to date as possible.

 

Subject access request

 

All individuals who are the subject of personal data held by Soapopolis Ltd are entitled to:

  • Ask what information the company holds about them and why.

  • Ask how to gain access to it.

  • Be informed how to keep it up to date.

  • Be informed how the company is meeting its data protection obligations.

 

If an individual contacts Soapopolis Ltd requesting this information, this is called a subject access request.

Subject access request from individuals should be made by writing.

Individuals may be charged a small amount up to £10 per subject access request. Soapopolis Ltd will aim to provide the relevant data within 21 days.

Disclosing data for other reasons

 

In certain circumstances, the Data Protection Act allows personal data to be disclosed to law enforcement agencies without the consent of the data subject.

Under these circumstances, Soapopolis Ltd will disclose requested data. However, the data controller will ensure the request is legitimate, seeking assistance from the board and from the company’s legal advisers where necessary