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Committees: Appearing as a committee witness

This privacy statement explains how the Scottish Parliament collects and uses personal information when you appear as a committee witness. We are the 'data controller' for this process. 

 

 

Some of the language used in privacy notices can be specialised.  The Information Commissioner's website provides a useful introduction to key terms and concepts.


The purpose of the processing

The Scottish Parliament Corporate Body (SPCB) has a duty to record and archive all formal proceedings of the Parliament.  Scottish Parliament committees invite people to appear before them to answer questions and share their views and experiences. These appearances are filmed, and the videos are publicly available on the Scottish Parliament website.  A transcript of the meeting will be produced called “the Official Report” and this, alongside the video, form part of the public record and will be transferred to the Scottish Parliament archive at National Records of Scotland. 

Photographs of the session may also be taken and committee witnesses, or people whose experiences are shared in the form of a case study, may also receive requests to participate in media/broadcast interviews. Further information on the photography and recording which may take place in the building is available in a separate privacy notice.  

Categories of information processed

Normal personal data

If you appear before a Committee the SPCB will need your contact information to manage administrative arrangements. The information collected usually includes your name, email address and contact telephone number. Occasionally you may be asked for a mailing address if we have received information from you in hard copy. 

Special category personal data

Depending on the views and experiences you decide to share this may be considered as 'special category' personal data.  If you share any accessibility requirements with us to help you attend the meeting this information will be handled as special category data. 

Special category personal data includes information revealing an individual’s

  • race
  • ethnic origin
  • political or religious views
  • sex life or sexual orientation
  • trade union membership
  • physical or mental health
  • genetic or biometric data.

Legal basis for data processing

Data protection law states that we must have a legal basis for handling your personal data. The legal basis for collecting, holding, sharing and publishing your personal data for the purpose of recording, publishing and archiving formal parliamentary proceedings is that the processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest (for normal category data) or substantial public interest (for special category data), in terms of  Article 6(1)(e) of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and section 8(d) of the Data Protection Act (DPA) (for normal category data) and Article 9(2)(g) UK GDPR and section 10(3) and paragraph 6(2)(b), part 2, schedule 1, DPA (for special category data).  The task is to facilitate evidence gathering for a parliamentary Committee which is part of the core function of the SPCB and therefore a Crown function in accordance with section 8(d) DPA. This includes video broadcast, written transcripts and photography of committee proceedings.  

For the transfer of personal data to the National Records of Scotland, the legal basis is that it is necessary for archiving purposes in the public interest in terms of Article 6(1)(e) UK GDPR and section 8(d)DPA or Article 9(2)(j) UK GDPR and section 10(2) DPA. 

For processing of personal data in video, photos and transcripts of the committee meetings the legal basis is that it is necessary for the purposes of a legitimate interest of the SPCB in terms of Article 6(1)(f) UK GDPR. The legitimate interest is the aim of the Committee to engage with and inform the wider public, such as through news promotion.   

Data sharing and retention of personal data  

Contact details for witnesses who regularly appear before a committee or who are likely to be invited to give evidence in the future will be retained so that those witnesses can be contacted again. These details will be held securely on parliament IT systems and reviewed annually to ensure the details are kept up to date.  These details may be shared internally with other business areas within the Parliament. 

Contact details for witnesses whose appearance is relevant only to a specific inquiry will be deleted at the conclusion of that inquiry.  The contact details for other witnesses who are not expected to give evidence at future meetings will also be securely deleted. 

The names and contact details of witnesses maybe added to the Committee Office Contact List so witnesses can be kept informed of the outcome of committee business. If you subscribe to this service, you can unsubscribe from it at any point. Please see the privacy notice about the Committee Office Contact List for more information. 

Video, photos and transcripts of public committee meetings form part of the public record. Personal information contained within a public record will be retained in accordance with the Scottish Parliament records management policy and may be transferred to the Scottish Parliament archive at National Records of Scotland where it will be publicly available.

Photos will also be stored in our secure photo storage system Third Light Ltd.

More information on Third Light’s privacy policy

Photos taken at committee meetings may be used by the media alongside any articles which are written about committee proceedings and they may also be used on the committee’s webpage and social-media accounts.

Personal data is also used to prepare a Witness List for each business day. The Witness List is held online by the Scottish Parliament and is used by the Visitor Information Desk to register the arrival of committee witnesses and advisers. Witness Lists are prepared on the morning of each business day for that day and are deleted at the end of each day. Witness Lists may be shared internally with other departments within the Scottish Parliament for administrative purposes and will only be passed to any third parties in line with legal requirements. 

Possible media interest

The Scottish Parliament Media Relations Office can be contacted by the media to invite you to take part in a media interview or to be part of a case study.  If this happens you will be provided with the journalist's contact details and it will be up to you to decide whether you wish to contact them or to participate. 

If you decide to take part in a media interview or be part of a case study, contact with the journalist can be arranged by the Scottish Parliament Media Relations Office. Once the interview/broadcast has been completed and the committee’s work concluded, your contact details will be securely deleted from the Parliament’s IT systems. If a journalist requests your contact details, these will only be provided with your agreement.

Any case study or media interview that you decide to participate in may be made publicly available on social media and/or other media outlets for an indefinite period.

Children and young people safeguarding and child protection

In line with the principles underlying the National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland (2014), published by the Scottish Government, our staff may report a concern to the relevant authorities if they come across an issue during their work which causes them to think that a child may be at risk of abuse or harm.

Your rights

Data protection legislation sets out the rights which individuals have in relation to personal data held about them by data controllers. Applicable rights are listed below, although whether you will be able to exercise data subject rights in a particular case may depend on the purpose for which the data controller is processing the data and the legal basis upon which the processing takes place.

The following rights may apply:

Access to your information

You have the right to request a copy of the personal information about you that we hold. For further information, have a look at our page on Making a Subject Access Request.

Correcting your information

We want to make sure that your personal information is accurate, complete and up to date and you may ask us to correct any personal information about you that you believe does not meet these standards.

Objecting to how we may use your information

You have the right at any time to require us to stop using your personal information for direct marketing purposes. In addition, where we use your personal information to perform tasks carried out in the public interest then, if you ask us to, we will stop using that personal information unless there are overriding legitimate grounds to continue.

  • Please note that the right to object to the processing of personal data does not apply where the data subject has consented to the processing, subject to the right to withdraw consent.
  • The right to object to the processing of personal data for the purposes of a public interest task is restricted if there are legitimate grounds for the processing which override the interest of the data subject.
  • The right of erasure and the right to object to processing of personal data do not apply where personal data is processed for the performance of a legal obligation. This will be considered on a case by case basis and depends on what personal data is involved and the risks further processing of that data could pose to you.

Deletion of your information

You have the right to ask us to delete personal information about you where:

  • You consider that we no longer require the information for the purposes for which it was obtained
  • We are using that information with your consent and you have withdrawn your consent – see Withdrawing consent to using your information below
  • You have validly objected to our use of your personal information – see Objecting to how we may use your information above
  • Our use of your personal information is contrary to law or our other legal obligations
  • Please note that the right allowing for deletion or erasure of personal data (right to be forgotten) does not apply in cases where personal data is processed for the purposes of the performance of a task carried out in the public interest. The right of erasure and the right to object to processing of personal data do not apply where personal data is processed for the performance of a legal obligation. This will be considered on a case by case basis and depends on what personal data is involved and the risks further processing of that data could pose to you. 

Restricting how we may use your information

In some cases, you may ask us to restrict how we use your personal information. This right might apply, for example, where we are checking the accuracy of personal information about you that we hold or assessing the validity of any objection you have made to our use of your information. The right might also apply where this is no longer a basis for using your personal information, but you don't want us to delete the data. Where this right is validly exercised, we may only use the relevant personal information with your consent, for legal claims or where there are other public interest grounds to do so.

Withdrawing consent to using your information

Where we use your personal information with your consent, you may withdraw that consent at any time and we will stop using your personal information for the purpose(s) for which consent was given.

Please contact us in any of the ways set out in the Contact information and further advice section if you wish to exercise any of these rights. 

Changes to our privacy statement

We keep this privacy statement under regular review and will place any updates on this website.  Paper copies of the privacy statement may also be obtained using the contact information below.

This privacy statement was last updated on 8 December 2020

Contact information and further advice

If you have any further questions about the way in which we process personal data, or about how to exercise your rights, please contact the Head of Information Governance at:
The Scottish Parliament
Edinburgh
EH99 1SP

Telephone: 0131 348 6913

(Calls are welcome through the Text Relay service or in British Sign Language through contactSCOTLAND-BSL.)

Email: [email protected]

Please contact us if you require information in another language or format

Complaints

We seek to resolve directly all complaints about how we handle personal information but you also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office online at: https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint.

Or by phone at: 0303 123 1113

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