General Data Protection Regulation

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) / Data Protection Act 2018 came into effect in 2018.  It represented a substantial change in how organisations deal with information about you (your Personal Data) and what rights you have in respect of the handling of that Personal Data.

What Does it Mean for Me?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (the ICO), which is the regulator for Data Protection matters in the UK, has provided an extensive guidance on GDPR on its website at and in particular the Guide to the General Data Protection Regulation found at provides an easy to navigate guide in respect of your Individual Rights under GDPR.   Throughout, where we have referred to a specific term which may be found in the guidance we have highlighted it with bold italic.

What Does it Mean For The Council When Dealing With My Personal Data?

For the most part, the Council will continue to use the information it holds on you for the same purpose or purposes it did before the GDPR came into force.  This is because the vast majority of the Council’s use of data is based on it meeting either a public task (i.e. duty that is entitled to perform by law for the benefit of the public interest, or in exercise of a specific legislative function), otherwise, through a legal obligation on the Council or through a contract we may have with you that requires us to process your Personal Data.  For example, when collecting information for the provision of one service, the Council may use such information, for example, to check whether any sums are owed in respect of a different service, because both such services are delivered as a public task or are required at law.

Where we hold information for a purpose which is not based on a Public Task, Legal Obligation or Contract we will generally seek your consent to the use the data for that purpose (note there are a limited number of exceptions to this e.g. Vital Interest – see the ICO Guide).

In that respect the Council’s processing of your data (holding and using it) may differ from a number of other organisations e.g. those who hold your information for marketing purposes, who may need to seek your permission for all uses of your Personal Data.

We will, in any event, a Privacy Notice which explains the basis for our use of your data where you apply for services from the Council.  If we seek to use your Personal Data in a different manner from that which we state in this Privacy Notice, we will tell you and if necessary, seek your permission.

For specific uses of your data, if we believe more information than is provided in this Privacy Notice may be required, a separate Privacy Notice may be issued as either a supplement to or replacement for this Notice.

Using Your Personal Data

General Approach

This Notice tells you how West Dunbartonshire Council uses your Personal Data.   West Dunbartonshire Council, is a local authority established under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 and having its principal place of business at 16 Church Street, Dumbarton, G82 1QL ("the Council", "we" or "us") and in terms of Data Protection legislation is the Data Controller for the Personal Data we hold.

Where you are responsible for other parties e.g. as Parent / Guardian of a child or vulnerable adult, or as a representative of a household, when we say your Personal Data, we will generally also mean the Personal Data of those you are responsible for providing.

Legal basis for using your information:

For most purposes, we will only process your information either (1) for the purposes of a public task (one of the recognised functions of a Scottish Local Authority), (2) where we are otherwise under a legal obligation or (3) where you have requested a service.  We may additionally enter into a contract with you e.g. as a supplier to the Council, or the Council as a supplier to you, and in that case the terms of the contract will identify how we may use your Personal Data.   In most cases, we will proceed on the basis that by providing us with your details in order to obtain a service from the Council, you are consenting to us using those details in order to provide that service to you. 

We will also use the information we hold to provide related services and to perform any duties we may be obliged to in law. In particular, we may use any information we receive from you to provide services and perform duties associated with your wellbeing and welfare, the wellbeing and welfare of those around you, your neighbourhood and the wider West Dunbartonshire community, where we have a function, duty or power to do so.

We may use information we hold in one part of the Council with that held in another to check its accuracy or to identify if we can better meet your needs in terms of services we deliver or duties we have to deliver.

Prevention of Crime, Fraud and Protecting the Public Interest

We may use the Personal Data you provide us with to prevent crime, fraud, or harm to yourself and others and to recover sums that may be owing to the Council and other public bodies to whom we owe a duty in law. We are under a legal obligation to safeguard public funds and so in all cases we reserve the right to check the information you have provided for accuracy, in order to detect fraud. This may involve data matching exercises where we compare different sets of data which we hold for unusual matches or discrepancies; this may also include matching council data with external data sources such as information held by credit reference agencies.

We participate in anti-fraud data matching exercise carried out by other agencies such as the National Fraud Initiative (operated on behalf of Audit Scotland) and the Housing Benefit Matching Service (conducted on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions). We have a duty to manage public funds properly.  As a result, we will use the information you provide to make sure all amounts we are owed are paid on time (for example, by identifying people who have not paid rent,  council tax and to help people who are entitled to benefits to claim them). In relation to outstanding money owed, we may also share your information with sheriff officers, various debt management partners and the Courts. We may also share your information for the same purposes with other public organisations, including neighbouring councils that handle public funds, and with the Police in respect of fraud or otherwise for the prevention of crime. We may also share your details with other organisations, including credit reference agencies, for the purposes of prevention and detection of fraud and confirming who is living at a particular address.

By law we are obliged to provide information to certain other public bodies such as the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenues and Customs, courts, tribunals, hearings, immigration authorities, police and security authorities, other formal bodies dealing with legal processes, and various external regulatory bodies. We also have an obligation to assist in the prevention of crime and we will therefore generally supply specific information which we are asked to provide to the police or other crime detection agencies, provided we are satisfied that the request is connected to an investigation and that disclosure would be lawful and proportionate.

Transferring and Sharing Your Personal Data

Except as set out in this Privacy Notice or any supplementary Privacy Notices we may draw to your attention, we will not use your Personal Data for any other purpose without first obtaining your consent.   For some regulatory activity carried out by the Council, your application may require to be published and potentially discussed in open committee or between responsible authorities for certain services to do with your wellbeing or the wellbeing of those you live with or are responsible for. If you have applied for such a service we will try to make this clear on any relevant application forms and supporting documentation however we may additionally have the right to do so under statute or other provision of law.

For matters decided by Meetings of the Council and its committees, copies of the reports and minutes which may contain Personal Data are normally public documents and will be made available on the Council's website and in other public spaces e.g. libraries, our offices etc.. Some of these reports, where they contain information which may be deemed to be particularly sensitive, may be excluded from public disclosure (subject always to Freedom of Information requirements).

Whilst we may transfer your Personal Data to other parties for the purposes of processing the same on our behalf e.g. the processing of benefits applications or entitlement cards for services. Such external parties are appointed under written contracts (Processing Agreements) on conditions which are in line with GDPR requirements and which protect your information on behalf of the Council and under its instructions and under written contracts which protect your Personal Data.   We will not sell Personal Data and whilst the terms of our Processing Agreements with such parties, may permit them to use anonymised data to help improve their products or to participate in statistical and academic exercises, we expressly prohibit using such data either, (1) to market products to you, (2) to otherwise identify you as an individual, and (3)  or permit resale or further transfer on to parties for purposes other than our service delivery or such limited product improvement and statistical / academic exercises.  

The Council itself carries out statistical analyses of the information which it holds in order to monitor its performance in various areas and in order to improve service delivery. These statistics, once they cannot identify any individuals, may be published or shared with other organisations or individuals. The council also conducts research and assists other bodies to conduct research using the information we hold and improve statistical information we require to deliver services.

We work closely with a large number of other public bodies, most notably other local authorities, West Dunbartonshire and Social Care Partnership (HSCP),  the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board , other parts of the NHS operating in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board area, neighbouring HSCPs, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service . Information will generally only be shared with these partner bodies either with your consent or where they might be directly involved in service delivery to you.

The Council has established the West Dunbartonshire Leisure Trust (WDLT) to deliver a number of leisure and recreation activities on its behalf to the residents and visitors to West Dunbartonshire.  Where you apply to us for any such services, we will share such information with WDLT. 

We also share information with third party providers of services where these third parties directly provide services to you.  Examples of this may be residential school providers, partner nurseries etc., care providers.  In these cases we may have to provide Special Category Data such as medical information, to such providers in order to provide services that best meet your needs and our obligations towards you and those you may care for.  Details of how we address the requirements to handle such Special Category Information can be found in our Data Protection Policy which is available by emailing

If an individual elects to make public statements relating to the Council and the Council holds information showing that these statements are incorrect, we may publicise the fact that we hold information contradicting that version. We may also seek your consent to publish the contradictory information; if you decline to give us this consent, we may make your refusal of this consent public.  In certain circumstances we will be entitled to produce such information without your consent.

The Council will, by law, be contacted by your landlord if you are facing eviction from your home. The council has a duty to assist in these circumstances; this assistance is provided on the Council's behalf by our financial inclusion service providers. If you are threatened with eviction, you may accordingly receive an unsolicited letter from one of our financial inclusion service providers explaining that they act on the Council's behalf and outlining what assistance they can offer you.

Individual electoral registration was introduced in Scotland on 19 September 2014. Under the changes to the law supporting individual electoral registration, the Electoral Registration Officer is required to examine databases held by the Council for the purposes of maintaining the electoral register. The Assessor and Electoral Registration Officer for Dunbartonshire, Argyll and Bute and is a separate legal entity from the Council and is separately notified with the Information Commissioner as a data controller.  (

A fuller list of the main bodies we may share information with is provided in Appendix 1 below. 

International Transfers

We will not transfer any data we hold outside of the 1) the European Union, 2) the European Economic Area or 3) any nation or territory the European Union or the ICO determines has equivalent safeguards for your Personal Data.

How long do we keep your information for?

This will depend on its purpose. The Council maintains a records retention and disposal schedule which sets out how long we hold different types of information for.   Copies of this schedule are available on request from

Your rights under data protection law:

The General Data Protection Regulation provides you with the following rights regarding your personal information:

  • The right to be informed about how your information will be used.
  • The right of access to your personal information.
  • The right to rectification, which is the right to require the Council to correct any inaccuracies.
  • The right to request the erasure of any personal information held by the Council where the Council no longer has a basis to hold the information.
  • The right to request that the processing of your information is restricted.
  • The right to data portability.
  • The right to object to the Council processing your personal information.
  • Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.

Details on these rights are available in the ICO guide referred to above.

Subject Specific Notices

Subject Specific Privacy Notices or supplementary Notices will be provided to you if you are applying for or in receipt of a service to which any such notice applies.  They may provide more tailored information in respect of such subjects and will generally be accessible where you are providing information e.g. in an online application form.  Where provided, such notice should be read in conjunction with this general Privacy Notice.  If no specific notice is provided (this will generally be the case) this Privacy Notice will apply.


If you do not have access to the internet you can contact us on the above number to request hard copies of any of the above documents. We seek to resolve directly all complaints about how we handle personal information. 

If your complaint is about how we have handled your Personal Data, you can contact the Council’s Data Protection Officer by email at

You also have the right to lodge a complaint about data protection matters with the Information Commissioner's Office, whose contact details are as follows:  Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Telephone - 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745; Website:

Appendix 1

Sharing information

The main organisations we share information with are as follows:

  • Arms Length External Organisations (ALEOs)
  • Other Councils
  • Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park
  • Scottish Government
  • UK Central Government
  • DWP
  • HMRC
  • NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Police Scotland, Security Forces and other Criminal Investigation Agencies
  • Scottish Fire and Rescue
  • Immigration Authorities
  • External Regulators
  • Residential Care Providers
  • Social Care Providers
  • Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
  • The (UK) Information Commissioner
  • Scottish Children's Reporter's Administration
  • The Care Inspectorate
  • Mental Welfare Commission
  • Office of the Public Guardian
  • Registered Social Landlords

This page will be updated on an ongoing basis to provide additional details on how and why we share information with these other bodies.