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privacy policy

This privacy notice covers personal data collected and used by Ofwat for the provision of services including users of Ofwat’s website and communications to Ofwat whether it be in electronic format, paper format or by telephone.

Ofwat is registered as a ‘data controller’, registration number Z5116866 with the Information Commissioner Officer as we collect and process personal information about you (this applies to staff and members of the public). Ofwat processes and holds information in order to provide regulatory services.

The purpose of this notice is to inform people what information is collected about them, whether it be via our website or other means, how this information is used, if it is disclosed and ways in which we protect their privacy. Information may be collected on a paper or online form, by telephone, email, or by a member of our staff.

We use cookies on our website using Google analytics. Their privacy policy explains how people’s data is used, including their IP address and how Google Analytics uses IP addresses to provide and protect the security of the service, and to give website owners a sense of where in the world their users come from. For more information see the section “Using our Website”.

This policy only relates to the personal data Ofwat collect and process and we are not responsible for external organisations that may link to Ofwat’s web pages. For more information concerning external agencies and stakeholders please visit the relevant privacy statement on their own web pages.

When do we collect information about people?

  • visitors to our websites;
  • people who use our services, e.g. who subscribe to our RSS feeds, e-newsletters, social media site, email alerts or request a publication from us;
  • people who email Ofwat
  • people who engage with Ofwat as part of carrying out our regulatory functions in the Water Industry;
  • people who make inquiries about any environmental schemes that Ofwat administers;
  • people who contact us in relation to information requests, complaints and general queries;
  • job applicants and our current and former employees.

How we use your information

We will use the information you provide in a manner that conforms to the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). We will endeavour to keep your information accurate and up to date and not keep it for longer than is necessary. In some instances the law sets the length of time information has to be kept.

We will process your information for the following purposes:

  • in connection with the information or service you have requested and to monitor and improve Ofwat’s performance in responding to your request
  • to allow us to be able to communicate and provide services appropriate to your needs
  • to ensure that we meet our legal and/or statutory obligations
  • where necessary for any law enforcement functions
  • for the prevention and detection of fraud and/or crime
  • to process financial transactions including payments involving Ofwat as an employer or where we are acting on behalf of other government bodies, e.g. Department for Work and Pensions
  • to collect monies owed to us
  • recruitment and management of staff
  • where necessary to protect individuals from harm or injury
  • to allow the statistical analysis of data so we can plan the provision of services in accordance with our statutory functions.

We will not pass any personal data on to third parties, other than those who either process information on our behalf, or because of a legal requirement, and we will only do so, where possible, after we have ensured that sufficient steps have been taken to protect the personal data by the recipient.

We will not disclose any information that you provide ‘in confidence’ to us, to anyone else without your permission, except in any situation where disclosure is required by law, or where we have good reason to believe that failing to share the information would put someone else at risk.

We may process your information overseas using web services that are hosted outside the European Economic Area, but only with data processing agreements that meet our obligations under the GDPR.

Information sharing

Wherever possible we will only share your information with relevant organisations and people when it is appropriate to do so and with your consent in order to manage your request or service. These third parties are obliged to keep your personal data securely and in accordance with the GDPR use them only to fulfil your request.

In some instances we may have to share your personal or sensitive personal data without your consent to fulfil a legal requirement, e.g. a Court Order or for the purposes of preventing or detecting crime.

Telephone calls

Telephone calls to and from Ofwat are not currently recorded. We do have a voicemail system where messages for call back are received. Once the information has been retrieved for assigning to the relevant department they are then deleted from the voicemail system.

Emails

Emails to Ofwat are received via our mailbox enquiry line, Press Office team, Freedom of Information mailbox, consultation email addresses, programme specific emails or direct to members of staff. Emails to our enquiry lines are recorded, in order for us to respond and deal with your query.

Once your enquiry is complete we will keep your details in accordance with Ofwat’s retention schedule. For more information on Ofwat’s retention schedule please visit our website.

Using our website

As confirmed previously our website contains cookie devices through Google Analytics, which we use to track and report Ofwat’s web traffic. For more information please see our cookies policy.

Social Media

Ofwat is connected to Social Media via Linked In and Twitter. Social Media allows Ofwat to interact directly with customers and its stakeholders focussing on improving communication flows in an open and transparent manner.

If you choose to contact us through social media we will assume you are happy for us to respond to you via this mode of communication. If it is not the most appropriate method for responding we will direct you to an alternative communication form.

CCTV

Ofwat has two offices located in Birmingham and London. CCTV operates at both sites. Requests for copies of images and further information regarding the CCTV operations should be addressed to the site owners. For site owner details please contact us at mailbox@ofwat.gsi.gov.uk or telephone 0121 644 7500.

Protecting your information

Our aim is not to be intrusive, and we will not ask irrelevant or unnecessary questions. The information you provide will be subject to rigorous measures and procedures to make sure it cannot be seen, accessed or disclosed to anyone who shouldn’t see it.

We have an Access to Information Policy that includes Data Protection, Environmental Information, Freedom of Information, Privacy Policy and Information Security. These define our commitments and responsibilities to your privacy and cover a range of information and technology security areas.

We provide training to staff who handle personal information including temporary staff. All staff are subject to our code of conduct and are subject to disciplinary procedures if they misuse or do not look after your personal information properly.

We dispose of paper records or delete any electronic personal information in a secure way in accordance with our retention and disposal policy. Your rights In accordance with the GDPR you have certain rights concerning the processing of your personal data.

You have the right to request that Ofwat stop processing your personal data in relation to any service. However, this may cause delays or prevent us delivering a service or response to you. Where possible we will seek to comply with your request, but we may be required to hold or process information to comply with a legal requirement. You are legally entitled to request access to any information about you that we hold, and to receive a copy of that information.

We try to ensure that any information we hold about you is correct. There may be situations where you find the information we hold is no longer accurate and you have the right to have this corrected. Please contact us to exercise any of these rights, or if you have a complaint about how your information has been used at: FOI@ofwat.gsi.gov.uk

If you require general information about the data protection, information is available on the Information Commissioner’s web site: https://ico.org.uk/

Changes to this privacy notice

We will continually review and update this privacy notice to reflect changes in our services and feedback, as well as to comply with changes in the law. When such changes occur, we will revise the ‘last updated’ date on this notice and the current version will be available on our website.

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