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Debating Chamber: Personal data disclosed during parliamentary proceedings

This privacy statement explains how we collect and use personal information as a data controller for the following process: Personal data disclosed by MSPs or witnesses during parliamentary proceedings

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 purposes of the processing

The Scottish Parliament Corporate Body (SPCB) has a duty to record, publish and archive all formal proceedings of the Parliament. Meetings of the Parliament and public meetings of its committees are filmed and webcast live (or almost live) and the videos are made publicly available on the Scottish Parliament website. 

A substantially verbatim transcript of the meeting is also produced called the Official Report and this, alongside the video, forms part of the public record and will be transferred to the Scottish Parliament archive at the National Records of Scotland where it will be publicly available. Official Reports are also legally deposited in the National Library of Scotland and made publicly available on its website.

Two of the Parliament’s founding principles are openness and accountability. Everything that is said during public meetings of the Parliament and its committees by Members or committee witnesses is recorded unaltered and transcribed substantially verbatim and then made publicly available on our website. Even when this includes personal information that is disclosed by Members or committee witnesses about themselves or other people, we must record and transcribe the proceedings as they happen; we cannot omit any part of any contribution from the transcript or the video recording.

Categories of information processed

Normal category data, as defined by the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), such as names of constituents, is not specifically collected but will be included in the Official Report and in the video recording of proceedings if spoken by a Member or a committee witness at a public meeting of the Parliament or in a public committee.

Special category data is not specifically collected but will be included in the Official Report and in the video recording of proceedings if spoken by a Member or a committee witness at a public meeting of the Parliament or in a public committee.

Special category 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.

Source of the information

Individual MSPs (who themselves are data controllers) and committee witnesses (who may or may not themselves be data controllers) disclosing personal data about individuals during meetings of the Parliament and its committees.

Legal basis for processing

Data protection law states that we must have a legal basis for handling your personal data. 

It is a function of the SPCB to provide the Parliament with the staff and services required for the Parliament’s purposes (s.21 of the Scotland Act 1998), including broadcasting and reporting Parliamentary proceedings in accordance with the Standing Orders. 

As a result, the legal bases for collecting, holding, sharing and publishing your personal data for the purpose of recording, broadcasting, reporting, publishing and archiving formal parliamentary proceedings are:

  • article 6(1)(e) UK GDPR – processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest, and
  • section 8(d), Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) – processing is necessary for the exercise of a Crown function

And as regards special category data:

  • article 9(2)(g) UK GDPR – processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest
  • article 9(2)(j) UK GDPR, section 10(2), paragraph 4(a), part 1, schedule 1DPA – processing is necessary for archiving purposes in the public interest, and 
  • paragraph 6(2)(b), part 2, schedule 1 DPA – processing is necessary for the exercise of a Crown function

Data subjects should be aware that if they have provided consent to a Member or a committee witness to disclose information about them at a public meeting of the Parliament or in a committee, and they subsequently seek to withdraw that consent, the SPCB will still be entitled to process their data for the above purposes in reliance on the legal bases set out above.  

Data sharing and transfer

Video and transcript records are passed to the National Records of Scotland (NRS) for archiving purposes. The NRS archives are publicly searchable on an ongoing basis.

In addition, transcripts of meetings are legally deposited in the National Library of Scotland and made available on its website.

Transcripts are also made available on the Scottish Parliament website as open data and can be used, stored and distributed by organisations and individuals separately from the Scottish Parliament.

Live output from the Chamber and committee meetings is provided simultaneously to media organisations who store, delete, make use of and/or distribute to public outlets including social media according to their own protocols, independently of the Scottish Parliament.

The legal basis for this sharing and transfer of data is the same as set out above. 

Retention of data 

Personal data disclosed in the Official Report or the video recording of public meetings is retained and made publicly available.

Copies of the Official Report (which may contain personal data about individuals disclosed by a Member or committee witness) are retained in accordance with the Scottish Parliament records management policy and transferred to the Scottish Parliament archive at National Records of Scotland where they will be publicly available.  A copy of each Archive Edition is legally deposited with the National Library of Scotland at the time of publication and made publicly available on its website. 

Broadcast recordings of Parliamentary proceedings (which may contain personal data about individuals disclosed by a Member or committee witnesses) are , retained in accordance with the Scottish Parliament records management policy and transferred to the Scottish Parliament archive at National Records of Scotland where they will be publicly available.

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.  You can exercise your data subject rights in particular circumstances depending 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.   

Further information on how to make a data protection subject access request. 

Correcting your information

You have the right to ask us to correct the personal data we hold about you. 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 there 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 purposes for which consent was given.

Please contact us in any of the ways set out below 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 22 January 2021.

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.

Or by phone at: 0303 123 1113

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

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