May 2018


GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 and is new EU legislation that applies from 25th May 2018.  The regulation gives individuals new rights surrounding the collection, recording, storage, appropriate processing and disposal of personal information.  Being EU wide the regulation is designed to harmonise data privacy laws across Europe and demands far greater protection obligations from organisations. All organisations within the UK will still be required to adhere to the Data Protection Act 1998 in addition to this new regulation.

Individuals have the following rights which will be detailed in our Data Protection Policy:

The right to be informed               The right of access
The right to rectification               The right to erasure
The right to restricted access        The right to portable data
The right to object                        The right not to be subject to automated decision-making including profiling

As custodians of such data, GDPR affects not only Professional Connection (South) Limited (trading as Professional Connection) and its staff and clients but all providers and third-party suppliers and we are presently working towards full compliance by 25th May by reviewing all company policies, processes, security measures and records currently held.  

Whilst undertaking this review we shall be contacting all companies connected with Professional Connection, who are required to process or hold any of our clients personal information, to gain assurance of their own GDPR compliance.  

We would ask for our clients and all related companies to work with us as swiftly as possible to ensure we are ready to meet the deadline – if you require any information for yourself and/or your organisation on GDPR you can visit: www.ico.org.uk

If any client has concerns or complaints as to how we have handled their personal data they may lodge a complaint with the UK’s data protection regulator, the ICO, who can be contacted through their website at https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/ or by writing to Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Terry Caister
CEO and Founder
 

PRIVACY NOTICE

 

The Directors of Professional Connection (South) Limited are committed to protecting the privacy and personal information of all individuals it engages with.  We would ask you to read this fair processing notice carefully.  We may need to make changes to this Notice from time to time and will contact you if there are important changes to how your personal data will be processed.

Services we offer include:

Investment advice, including pensions, ISAs/Junior ISAs, General Investment Accounts and Onshore and Offshore Bonds;

Life cover, including Critical Illness cover, Income Protection, Family Income Benefit Plans and Private Health Care cover;

Mortgages, including Equity Release;  

Trusts and Will writing and Lasting Powers of Attorney; both health & welfare and financial. 

1.              Policy, scope and objectives

 Professional Connection (South) Limited (trading as Professional Connection), are committed to compliance with all relevant UK and EU laws in respect of personal data, and to protecting the “rights and freedoms” of individuals whose information we collect in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (GDPR).

To that end, the Board of Directors has developed, implemented and maintains a documented Privacy Notice Management Review (PNMR) which will be managed by the Data Protection Officer.

The objectives of the PNMR are:

·       that it should enable the firm to meet its own requirements for the management of personal information;

·       that it should support organisational objectives and obligations; that it should impose controls in line with the firm’s acceptable level of risk;

·       that it should ensure that the firm meets applicable statutory, regulatory, contractual and/or professional duties; and that it should protect the interests of individuals and other key stakeholders.

2.              Data protection principles

 Professional Connection (South) Limited is committed to complying with data protection legislation and good practice including:

·       processing personal information only where a contract is signed and/or consent is given by the data subject and/or there is legal or regulatory obligation;

·       collecting only the minimum personal information required for these purposes and not processing excessive personal information;

·       providing clear information to individuals about how their personal information will be used and by whom;

·       only processing relevant and adequate personal information;

·       processing personal information fairly, lawfully and securely;

·       maintaining an inventory of the categories of personal information processed by the firm;

·       keeping personal information accurate and, where necessary, up to date;

·       retaining personal information only for as long as is necessary to provide the agreed service for legal or regulatory reasons or;

·       respecting individuals’ rights in relation to their personal information, including their right of subject access;

·       keeping all personal information secure

·       only transferring personal information outside the EU in circumstances where it can be adequately protected;

·       the application of the various exemptions allowable by data protection legislation;

·       developing and implementing a PNMR to enable the policy to be implemented;

·       where appropriate, identifying internal and external stakeholders and the degree to which these stakeholders are involved in the compliance of the firm’s with all regulations and with the Privacy Notice; and

·       the identification of workers with specific responsibility and accountability for the Privacy Notice and the PNMR.

3.        Notification

 Professional Connection (South) Limited has notified the Information Commissioner that it is a data controller and that it processes certain information about data subjects. The firm has identified all the personal data that it processes and this is contained in the Data Mapping Inventory.

A copy of the ICO notification details is retained by the appointed person with the firm and the ICO Notification Handbook is used as the authoritative guidance for notification. The ICO notifications are automatically renewed annually. 

The appointed person is responsible, each year, for reviewing the details of notification, in the light of any changes to the firm’s activities (as determined by changes to the Data Mapping Inventory and the PNMR) and to any additional requirements identified by means of data protection impact assessments. 

The Notice applies to all Employees [and interested parties] of Professional Connection (South) Limited such as outsourced suppliers. Any breach of the GDPR or this PNMR will be dealt with as a disciplinary matter and may be a criminal offence, in which case the matter must be reported as soon as possible to the appropriate authorities.

Partners and any third parties working with or for the firm, and who have or may have access to personal information, are expected to have read, understood and to comply with this Notice.

No third party may access personal data held by the firm without having first entered into a data confidentiality agreement, which imposes on the third party obligations no less onerous than those to which the firm is committed, and which gives the firm the right to audit compliance with the agreement.

4.              Background to the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’)

The EU General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 replaces the EU Data Protection Directive of 1995 and supersedes the laws of individual Member States that were developed in compliance with the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC. Its purpose is to protect the “rights and freedoms” of living individuals, and to ensure that personal data is not processed without their knowledge, and, wherever possible, that it is processed with their consent.

5.              Key Definitions used by the organisation (drawn from the GDPR)

 Personal data – any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person ('data subject'). An identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.

Special categories of personal data – personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade-union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person's sex life or sexual orientation.

Data controller – the natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data. Where the purposes and means of such processing are determined by Union or Member State law, the controller or the specific criteria for its nomination may be provided for by Union or Member State law.

Data subject – any living individual who is the subject of personal data held by an organisation.

Processing – any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction.

Profiling – is any form of automated processing of personal data intended to evaluate certain personal aspects relating to a natural person, or to analyse, or predict that person’s performance at work, economic situation, location, health, personal preferences, reliability, or behavior. This definition is linked to the right of the data subject to object to profiling and a right to be informed about the existence of profiling, of measures based on profiling and the envisaged effects of profiling on the individual.

Personal data breach – a breach of security leading to the accidental, or unlawful, destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data transmitted, stored or otherwise processed. There is an obligation on the controller to report personal data breaches to the supervisory authority and where the breach is likely to adversely affect the personal data or privacy of the data subject.

Data subject consent – Professional Connection (South) Limited understands ‘consent’  to mean that data subject has been fully informed of the intended processing of thieir personal information and has signified their agreement.  That it has been explicitly and freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject’s wishes by which he or she by statement, or by a clear affirmative action.

Child – the GDPR defines a child as anyone under the age of 16 years old. The processing of personal data of a child under 13 years of age is only lawful if parental or custodian consent has been obtained.

Third party – a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or body other than the data subject, controller, processor and persons who, under the direct authority of the controller or processor, are authorised to process personal data.

Filing system – any structured set of personal data, which are accessible according to specific criteria, whether centralized or de-centralised.

6.              Responsibilities under the General Data Protection Regulation

 Professional Connection (South) Limited is a data controller and/or data processor under the GDPR.

Anyone in a managerial or supervisory role is responsible for developing and encouraging good information handling practices within the organisation; responsibilities are set out in the firms Individual User Agreement. 

The appointed person within the firm is accountable to Board of Directors of the firm for the management of personal information within the firm and for ensuring that compliance with data protection legislation and good practice can be demonstrated. This accountability includes:

·       development and implementation of the PNMR as required by this Notice; and

·       security and risk management in relation to compliance with the Notice.

The appointed person who the Board of Directors considers to be suitably qualified and experienced, has been appointed to take responsibility for the firm’s compliance with this Notice on a day-to-day basis. In particular, has direct responsibility for ensuring that the firm complies with the GDPR, as do all employees in respect of data processing that takes place within their area of responsibility. 

The appointed person has specific responsibilities in respect of procedures such as the Subject Access Request procedure. They are also the first point of call for Employees seeking clarification on any aspect of data protection compliance.

Compliance with data protection legislation is the responsibility of all members of the firm who process personal information.

The firm’s Training Policy sets out specific training and awareness requirements in relation to specific roles and to members of the firm generally.

Staff are responsible for ensuring that any personal data supplied by them, and that is about them, is accurate and up-to-date.

7.              Risk Assessment

Objective: To ensure that the firm is aware of any risks associated with the processing of particular types of personal information.

Professional Connection (South) Limited has a process for assessing the level of risk to individuals associated with the processing of their personal information. Assessments will also be carried out in relation to processing undertaken by other organisations on behalf of the firm.

Professional Connection (South) Limited shall manage any risks, which are identified by the risk assessment in order to reduce the likelihood of a non-conformance with this policy.

Where a type of processing, in particular using new technologies is likely to result in a high risk to the “rights and freedoms” of natural persons, the firm shall, prior to the processing, carry out an assessment of the impact of the envisaged processing operations on the protection of personal data.

A single assessment may address a set of similar processing operations that present similar high risks.

Where, as a result of a Data Protection Impact Assessment, it is clear that the firm is about to commence processing of personal information that could cause damage and/or distress to the data subjects, the decision as to whether or not the firm may proceed must be escalated for review by the DPO.

8.        Collection of data

We will collect and use different personal information about you for different reasons depending on our relationship with you and the service you have requested. Where you provide personal information to us about other individuals (for example members of your family or other dependents) we will also be data controller of their personal information and we are responsible for protecting their personal information and using it appropriately.  This notice will therefore apply to those individuals and you should refer them to this notice.

How we might collect personal data

Information collected through any meeting with you; and/or

Information obtained from any communication with you; and/or

Information provided through any application form completed for a product or service; and/or

Information obtained through audits or processed in the process of ensuring regulatory obligations are met by Professional Connection (South) Limited

What personal information may we collect?

General information such as your name, address, phone numbers and email addresses, date of birth and gender.  Identification information including passport, driving licence, national insurance number and any other government issued verification, bank statements, mortgage details, previous and current investments, copies of your will, details on any trusts you have or your attitude to investment risk. 

Information that may be classified as sensitive personal information relating to health, marital or civil partnership status, information on dependents and/or children – this information will only be collected and used where it’s needed to assist in providing a service

The above is not exhaustive but gives a clear indication of the information that might be provided during consultation with your advisor.

What special categories of information may we collect?

Details about any criminal conviction(s) and any related information which might be given during a consultation or obtained during screening.

Details about your health which are relevant to the service you are receiving which you have chosen to disclose for example pre-existing health problems which need to be mentioned when taking out a life insurance policy

How we might use your personal data

There are a number of reasons we use your personal information and for each use we need to have a “lawful” basis to do so.  We will rely on one or more of the following “lawful bases” when we process your “personal information”:

Consent: the individual has given clear consent for you to process their personal data for a specific purpose

Contract: the processing is necessary to service a contract you have with the individual, or because they have asked you to take specific steps before entering into a contract

Legal or regulatory obligation: the processing is necessary for you to comply with the law (not including contractual obligations)

Example of purpose for processing your personal data

To comply with our legal or regulatory obligations

To send you information about products and services or provide updates on current services you have requested

Liaising with the finance/payroll department of your employer in relation to your pension plan/contributions

For communications  purposes including handling complaints and dealing with any other communications

Who we might share your personal information with?

We will not sell or transfer your personal information to anyone unless we have a valid purpose as set out above and we would only disclose it to the following parties:

Our regulators including the Financial Conduct Authority and the Financial Ombudsman Service

Data Protection authorities;

The police, HMRC and other crime prevention and detection agencies;

Third parties who have entered into a contractual arrangement with us to provide a service we need to carry out our everyday business such as IT suppliers, accountants, lawyers;

Third party suppliers/controllers/processors who deliver a product/service you have requested

Your employer

How long do we keep your personal information for?

We will only keep your personal information for as long as reasonably necessary to fulfill the purposes set out above and/or to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations or for as long as necessary to respond to concerns you raise with the advice you received.  As a financiall services firm we are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (the FCA) who imposes certain record-keeping rules which we must adhere to.

What is our approach to sending your personal information overseas?

It is the policy of Professional Connection (South) Limited not to engage with any third party controller/processors who operate outside of the European Economic Area (“EEA”), therefore when undertaking GDPR due digiligence with key suppliers we look to ensure they also have the same policy.    Where a transfer of personal information outside of the EEA is required to provide a service you have specifically requested we will take the appropriate safeguarding measures to ensure that your personal information is adequately protected (refer to our Policy for Transferring of Personal Data to Third Party Countries).

9.        Accountability

 The GDPR introduces the principle of accountability which states that the controller is not only responsible for ensuring compliance but for demonstrating that each processing operation complies with the requirements of the GDPR.

Specifically, controllers are required to maintain necessary documentation of all processing operations, implement appropriate security measures, perform DPIAs (Data Processing Impact Assessment) if deemed necessary, comply with requirements for prior notifications, or approval from supervisory authorities and appoint a person responsible within the firm.

10.       Data subjects’ rights

 Data subjects have the following rights regarding data processing, and the data that is recorded about them:

·       The right to be informed

You have the right to receive clear and easy to understand information on what personal information we have, where we hold it, why we hold it and who we share it with.

·       The right of access to personal information

You have the right to access any personal data (i.e. data about them) which is held by the firm in electronic format and manual records, which form part of a relevant filing system. This includes the right to inspect confidential personal references received by the firm, and information obtained from third-party organisations about that person.   Information should be provided within 20 working days, free of charge.

·       The right to rectification

If you believe there are any inaccuracies, discrepancies or gaps in any of the personal information we hold on you, you have the right to request it be corrected.

·       The right to erasure

You are entitled to request your personal information to be deleted in certain circumstances such as where we no longer need your information for a service we are providing.  If there is a regulatory requirement to hold information please see your Right to Restricted Access below:

·       The right to restricted access (where regulatory requirements prohibit erasure)

You can ask that we block or suppress the processing of your personal information, for example if you have withdrawn your custom for our services, thus enabling us to continue to comply with Financial Regulatory Regulations.  Where personal data is retained beyond the processing date, it will be [minimised/encrypted] in order to protect the identity of the data subject in the event of a data breach.

·       The right to portable data

You have the right for personal data to be provided in a secure, structured, commonly used and machine-readable format, and the right to have that data transmitted to another controller.

·       The right to object/withdraw consent

The consent of the data subject can be withdrawn at any time from the processing of their personal data.

·       The right not to be subject to automated decision-making

You have the right to object to any automated profiling without consent

11.      Complaints

If you wish to contact us with any questions about our Privacy Notice/Fair Processing Notice or, to make a complaint you may contact our Data Protection Officer at Culvert Cottage, The Square, Wickham, Hampshire, PO17 5JT or by emailing tcaister@professionalconnection.co.uk or phoning 01329 835439.

If you have any concerns or complaints as to how we have handled your personal data you may lodge a complaint with the UK’s data protection regulator, the ICO, who can be contacted through their website at https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/ or by writing to the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Where data subjects wish to complain about how their complaint has been handled, or appeal against any decision made following a complaint, they may lodge a further complaint to the Board of Directors. The right to do this will be included in the GDPR section of our complaints procedure.

12.     Security of data

 All Employees are responsible for ensuring that any personal data, which the firm holds and for which they are responsible, is kept securely and is not under any conditions disclosed to any third party unless that third party has been specifically authorised by the firm to receive that information and has entered into a confidentiality agreement.

All personal data should be accessible only to those who need to use it, and access may only be granted in line with the Access Control Policy. You should form a judgment based upon the sensitivity and value of the information in question, but personal data must be kept:

·     in a lockable room with controlled access; and/or

·     in a locked drawer or filing cabinet; and/or

·     if computerised, password protected in line with corporate requirements in the Access Control Policy; and/or

·     Stored on (removable) computer media, which are encrypted.

Care must be taken to ensure that PC screens and terminals are not visible except to authorised Employees of Professional Connection (South) Limited.  All Employees are required to enter into an Individual User Agreement before they are given access to organisational information of any sort.

Manual records may not be left where they can be accessed by unauthorised personnel and may not be removed from business premises without authorisation. As soon as manual records are no longer required for day-to-day client support, they must be removed and shredded in line with the Secure Disposal Procedure.

Processing of personal data ‘off-site’ presents a potentially greater risk of loss, theft or damage to personal data. Staff with access to data off-site must follow guidelines set out in the Individual User Agreement. 

13.          Disclosure of data

Professional Connection (South) Limited must ensure that personal data is not disclosed to unauthorised third parties, which includes family members, friends, government bodies, and in certain circumstances, the Police.  All Employees should exercise caution when asked to disclose personal data held on another individual to a third party and will be required to attend specific training that enables them to deal effectively with any such risk.  It is important to bear in mind whether or not disclosure of the information is relevant to, and necessary for, the conduct of the firm’s business.

The GDPR permits certain disclosures without consent so long as the information is requested for one or more of the following purposes:

·     to safeguard national security;

·     prevention or detection of crime including the apprehension or prosecution of offenders;

·     assessment or collection of tax duty;

·     discharge of regulatory functions (includes health, safety and welfare of persons at work);

·     to prevent serious harm to a third party;

·     to protect the vital interests of the individual, this refers to life and death situations.

All requests to provide data for one of these reasons must be supported by appropriate paperwork and all such disclosures must be specifically authorised by the person responsible within the firm.

14.          Retention and disposal of data

Personal data may not be retained for longer than it is required. Once a client or member of staff has left Professional Connection (South) Limited, it may not be necessary to retain all the information held on them. Some data will be kept for longer periods than others depending on regulatory guidelines the firm is required to abide by – that information will be held in accordance with the Right to Restricted Access.

Personal data must be disposed of in a way that protects the “rights and freedoms” of data subjects (e.g. shredding, disposal as confidential waste, secure electronic deletion) and in line with the secure disposal procedure.  Hard drives of redundant PCs are to be professionally wiped clean.