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Collecting personal data

When collecting personal data you should consider the classes of personal data that you are allowed to collect and the purposes for which you are collecting the data.

The classes of personal data that are processed by the University, the types of people whose personal data can be processed and the purposes for which the data is processed are registered with the Information Commissioner as part of the University's notification. If your school/office starts to collect personal data for a new purpose, you should inform the Data Protection Officer via the IMPS office so that the university's notification can be updated.

It is important that you collect personal information without infringing the rights of the people whose personal information you are collecting by following the Guidelines for collecting personal data (PDF-348KB). Further useful advice on collecting information about people is given by the Office of the Information Commissioner in Privacy Notices Code of Practice.

Processing personal data checklist

Some questions to consider when processing personal data:

  • do you really need to record the information?
  • is the information 'standard' or is it sensitive or confidential? If it is sensitive or confidential, do you have the data subject's explicit consent?
  • has the subject been told that this type of data will be processed?
  • are you authorised to collect/store/process the data?
  • has the Data Protection Officer been notified that you are processing this type of personal data for this purpose? If you have doubts about this contact us for guidance.
  • where appropriate, have you checked with the data subject that the data is accurate?
  • are you sure that the data will be secure?
  • do you have the data subject's consent to process their data? If not, are you satisfied that it is in the best interests of the data subject to process the data?
  • do you know how long to keep the data for, and when and how to dispose of it?

If you have any doubts contact us for advice.

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