Personal information charter

Our personal information charter contains the standards you can expect when we ask for, hold or share, your personal information.

It also covers what we ask of you, to help us keep information up to date.

We need to handle personal information about you, (whether you are a member of the defence community, serving member of the armed forces, a veteran, a current or past civil servant, or potential recruit) and your family, so that we can provide services for you and administer your personal information efficiently.

Your privacy

When we ask you for personal information, we undertake:

  • to make sure you know why we need it
  • to only ask for what we need, and not to collect too much or irrelevant information
  • to protect it and make sure nobody has access to it who shouldn’t
  • to make sure our staff who handle personal data are appropriately trained
  • to let you know if we share it with other organisations to give you better services - and if you can say no
  • to make sure we don’t keep it longer than necessary
  • not to make your personal information available for commercial use without your permission

In return, we ask you to:

  • give us accurate information
  • tell us as soon as possible if there are any changes, such as a new address

This helps us to keep your information reliable and up to date.

How to find out what personal information we hold about you

If you want to find out if we or any of our agencies hold any personal information about you, or want to make any corrections, you can make a ‘subject access request’ (SAR) under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 98). If we do hold information about you we will:

  • give you a description of it
  • tell you why we are holding it
  • tell you who it could or has been disclosed to
  • let you have a copy of the information in a form that is as clear and understandable as possible

Please be as specific as you can about the information you want, and, if it isn’t obvious, explain why you expect us to hold your personal information. Information about how to make a SAR application see our guide on Requests for personal data and service records.

Retention of personal data

MOD personal data handling notification

This notification details MOD handling and retention of personal data contained in Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, Environmental Information Requests (EIR), Ministerial Correspondence (MC) and Number 10 Treat Official (TO) correspondence.

In order to process FOI, EIR, MC and Number 10 TO work correspondents (members of the public) send in their name and correspondent contact details, which are retained in order to respond to their request. Some correspondents also detail personal information within their request/correspondence as background information to assist with the handling of their case.

FOI, EIR, MC and Number 10 to case work and correspondence are retained by MOD for a maximum of 7 years .

After the retention period has elapsed all data will be destroyed in line with MOD data destruction policy.

For further information please email cio-foi@mod.uk

When we share information

We may share personal information within our organisation or with other bodies if it would be compatible with the purpose for which we collected it, and/or where we need to, or are permitted to do so by law.

Where we need to share your information without your consent, we will always do so in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

The training and guidance we give to our staff

All of our staff are trained in the importance of protecting personal and other sensitive information. Anyone working with large volumes of personal data, receives more in-depth training and takes refresher training each year. Managers who have formal responsibilities for large datasets receive more training.

Personal data handling

In order to process FOI, EIR, MC and Number 10 TO work correspondents (members of the public) send in their name and correspondent contact details, which are retained in order to respond to their request. Some correspondents also detail personal information within their request / correspondence as background information to assist with the handling of their case.

FOI, EIR, MC and Number 10 TO case work and correspondence are retained by MOD for a maximum of seven years. In exceptional circumstances some personal data may be retained beyond the seven year retention point if there is a business requirement to do so, for example an ongoing case.

After the retention period has elapsed all data marked for destruction will be considered for destruction in line with MOD data destruction policies.

For further information please contact:

MOD Information Rights Team
Ground floor, zone D
Main Building
Whitehall
London
SW1A 2HB

Email: cio-foi@mod.uk

How to make a complaint to MOD

If you are dissatisfied with the way we have handled your personal information and want to make a complaint, please write to the Data Protection Officer at the relevant agency or the Information Rights team at the Ministry of Defence.

MOD Information Rights Team
Ground floor, zone D
Main Building
Whitehall
London SW1A 2HB

Email: cio-dpa@mod.uk

We will acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days and send you a full response within 20 working days. If we can’t respond fully in this time, we will write and let you know why and tell you when you should get a full response.

The role of the Information Commissioner

When we ask you for information, we will keep to the law, including the DPA 98. For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data-sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Tel: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45 Fax: 01625 524510

Website: http://ico.org.uk