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Legal advice

This privacy statement explains how we collect and use personal information as a data controller for the following process: Obtaining and providing legal advice

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

During the course of our work, we may pass information containing personal data to the Parliament’s Legal Office for the purpose of obtaining legal advice in relation to our functions.

In considering and providing advice in response to such a request, the Parliament’s Legal Office will consult and store that personal data.

Categories of information processed

This will depend upon the information provided to the Legal Office in connection with the request for legal advice. Where a request for legal advice relates to an individual, the information provided will normally contain the individual’s name and contact details and other “standard” personal data which is relevant to the request.

In some cases, personal data which is “sensitive” or “special category” personal data may also be included if it is relevant to the request; for example, this could include details about race or ethnic origin, political or religious views, sex life or sexual orientation, trade union membership, physical or mental health, genetic data or any criminal offences.

Source of the information

Information containing personal data processed by the Parliament’s legal office is, in most cases, provided by employees of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (“the SPCB”). This information will have been obtained by those employees from different sources, including in many cases from the data subject themselves. The Privacy Notices relating to specific processing activities provide further information on the original source of the information containing personal data. For example, where Parliament staff seek advice from Legal Office in connection with written evidence submitted by an individual to a Committee, the original source of the information will be the data subject themselves. In some instances, the Legal Office may receive information containing personal data directly from other organisations, such as the UK Government, the Scottish Government Legal Directorate, or from external outsourced legal firms in connection with legal work which has been outsourced to them.

Legal basis for processing

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

The legal basis for processing of personal data for the purpose of obtaining legal advice is that it is necessary for a task carried out in the public interest. Where legal advice is sought, this is necessary for the exercise of the functions of the Scottish Parliament and the SPCB. The legal basis for processing personal data is therefore Article 6 (1)(e) UK GDPR (public interest task) and section 8(d) of the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA).

For any queries which involve the processing of special category data, the legal basis for the processing will, depending on the circumstances, be either:

  • that it is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims (Article 9(2)(f) UK GDPR), or
  • that it is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest (Article 9(2)(g) UK GDPR). The substantial public interest lies in the importance of the Scottish Parliament and the SPCB exercising their functions lawfully. The legal basis for processing special category personal data is therefore Article 9(2)(g) UK GDPR and section 10(3) and paragraph 6(1) and (2)(b), part 2 of schedule 1 of the DPA.

For the transfer of data to the National Records of Scotland, the legal basis is that it is necessary for archiving purposes in the public interest (Article 6(1)(e) UK GDPR, section 8(d) DPA or Article 9(2)(j) UK GDPR, section 10(1)(e) and paragraph 4, Part 1of Schedule 1 to the DPA). 

Data sharing

Personal data may be passed to external outsourced legal firms by our Legal Office, or by other Parliament staff directly, for the purpose of obtaining confidential legal advice in connection with the SPCB’s functions.

Any such information is shared on a confidential basis for the sole purpose of obtaining legal advice.

Retention of data 

A record of the request for legal advice and the advice provided (both of which may contain personal data) will be retained in accordance with Scottish Parliament records management policy. Advice concerning parliamentary business may form part of the public record and be transferred to the Scottish Parliament archive at National Records of Scotland, where it will remain closed to public view for a period of 30 years after creation. Other legal advice will be kept for periods of 5, 10 or 30 years depending on the nature of the advice.

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 11 June 2021.

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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