Privacy information relating to correspondence received by the Cabinet Office

Updated 14 August 2018

This notice sets out how we will use your personal data, and your rights. It is made under Articles 13 and 14 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Your data


The purpose for which we are processing your personal data is to respond to letters, emails or other communications from members of the public, parliamentarians, and representatives of organisations.

The data

We will process the following personal data:

  • your name
  • address
  • email address

We will also:

  • collect details of any concerns raised in your correspondence
  • process any other information you volunteer about yourself

We may also process special category data or data about criminal convictions, if you volunteer such information. Special categories of personal data include:

  • data about racial or ethnic origin
  • political opinions
  • religious or philosophical beliefs
  • trade union membership
  • genetic data
  • biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, health, or sex life or sexual orientation

The legal basis for processing the personal data is that processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the data controller. In this case, that is being accountable and transparent about the functions and policies for which the department is responsible.

Where special category data or data about criminal convictions is volunteered by a correspondent, our legal basis for processing it is:

The processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest for the exercise of a function of the Crown, a Minister of the Crown, or a government department. The substantial public interest is being accountable and transparent about the functions and policies for which the department is responsible; and:

In relation to constituency correspondence we also rely upon:

The processing consists of the disclosure of personal data to an elected representative or a person acting with the authority of such a representative; and it is in response to a communication to the controller from that representative or person which was made in response to a request from an individual; and the personal data is relevant to the subject matter of that communication; and the disclosure is necessary for the purpose of responding to that communication.


Your information may be shared with other public bodies, or the devolved administrations, where it is necessary and in order to provide a full answer to you.

Your information may be shared with other public bodies, the devolved administrations, constituency offices or political parties, where it is necessary to transfer correspondence to a more appropriate body for an answer.

Your information may be shared with your MP, where they are writing on your behalf.

As personal data will be stored on our IT infrastructure, it will also be shared with our data processors, who provide email and document management and storage services.

Source of information

Where we did not receive your personal data from you, it was received from your MP, from another person writing in on your behalf, or from another correspondent.


Personal information in correspondence will usually be deleted 3 calendar years after the correspondence, or the case is closed or concluded.

However, public correspondence may be kept if it is sufficiently significant that it should be retained for the historical record.

Your rights

You have the right to:

  • request information about how your personal data are processed, and to request a copy of that personal data
  • request that any inaccuracies in your personal data are rectified without delay
  • request that any incomplete personal data are completed, including by means of a supplementary statement
  • request that your personal data are erased if there is no longer a justification for them to be processed
  • in certain circumstances (for example, where accuracy is contested), to request that the processing of your personal data is restricted
  • object to the processing of your personal data

International transfers

As your personal data is stored on our IT infrastructure and shared with our data processors, it may be transferred and stored securely outside the European Union. Where that is the case, it will be subject to equivalent legal protection through the use of model contract clauses.


If you consider that your personal data has been misused or mishandled, you may make a complaint to the Information Commissioner, who is an independent regulator. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Telephone: 0303 123 1113


Any complaint to the Information Commissioner is without prejudice to your right to seek redress through the courts.

Contact details

The data controller for your personal data is the Cabinet Office. The contact details for the data controller are:

Contact Form: Public Enquiries

If you wish to make a request for your personal data, please contact:

If you wish to make a Freedom of Information request, please contact:

The contact details for the data controller’s Data Protection Officer (DPO) are: The DPO provides independent advice and monitoring of Cabinet Office’s use of personal data.