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Non-Government Bills Unit: Members' Bill Consultations

This privacy statement explains how we collect and use personal information as a data controller for the following process: Member’s Bill Consultations. This includes your response to an MSP’s consultation on a proposal for a Member’s Bill.

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 purpose of collecting, storing and sharing personal data contained in consultation responses is to enable Members to consider the views of respondents to inform the development of the Bill, with the support of the Non-Government Bills Unit (NGBU). Personal data contained in consultation responses will not be used for any other purpose without the express consent of the data subject.

Categories of information processed

During Member’s Bill consultations, we process normal category data such as your name and your contact details provided with the response. We may also process *special category data included in responses to consultation questions.

*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

The information is provided by you (the data subject) when responding to a consultation on the development of a Member’s Bill.

Legal basis for 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 is that the processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest (for normal category data), or in the substantial public interest (for special category data), in accordance with Article 6(1)(e) of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and section 8(d) of the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) (for normal category data), or Article 9(2)(g) UK GDPR and section 10(3) of and paragraph 6(2)(b), Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the DPA (for special category data). The task is to support Members seeking to introduce Members’ Bills to the Parliament. This is a core task of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) and therefore a Crown function. The adequate support of the Member’s Bill process and the ability to seek, use and temporarily store personal data including special category data is in the substantial public interest.

If the person responding to the consultation is under the age of 12 then consent from the parent or guardian of the young person will be required to allow the young person to participate in the consultation process (however, the legal basis for the processing of the personal data submitted remains as the public interest task basis identified above).

Data sharing

The data collected and generated by Smart Survey will be held by the Non-Government Bills Unit (NGBU), a team in the Scottish Parliament which supports MSPs progressing Members’ Bills, and shared with the MSP who is progressing the Bill and staff in the MSP’s office. Data submitted by other means (e.g. by email or hard copy) will be held by the MSP’s office and shared with NGBU for the purposes of producing a summary of responses to the consultation. The MSP and NGBU are joint data controllers of the data. Under a data-sharing agreement between the MSP and the Scottish Parliament, access to the data is normally limited to NGBU staff working on the Member’s Bill/proposal, the MSP and staff in the MSP’s office working on the Member’s Bill/proposal; but data may also be shared by NGBU with the Scottish Parliament’s solicitors in the context of obtaining legal advice.

Publishing Personal Data

“Not for publication” responses will not be published and will only be referred to in the summary of consultation responses in the context of a reference to the number of “not for publication” responses received and, in some cases, in the context of a general reference that is considered by you to be consistent with the reasons for choosing “not for publication” status for your response.

Anonymous responses will be published without your name attached, your name will not be mentioned in the summary of consultation responses, and any quote from or reference to any of your answers or comments will not be attributed to you by name.

Other responses may be published, together with your name; and quotes from or references to any of your answers or comments, together with your name, may also be published in the summary of consultation responses.

Contact details (e.g. your e-mail address) provided with your response will not be published, but may be used by either the MSP’s office or by NGBU to contact you about your response or to provide you with further information about progress with the proposed Bill.

Where personal data, whether relating to you or to anyone else, is included in that part of your response that is intended for publication, the MSP’s office or NGBU may edit or remove it, or invite you to do so; but in certain circumstances the response may be published with the personal data still included.

Please note, however, that references in the foregoing paragraphs to circumstances in which responses or information will not be published are subject to the Parliament’s legal obligations under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. Under that Act, the Parliament may be obliged to release to a requester information that it holds, which may include personal data in your response (including if the response is “not for publication” or anonymous).

Use of Smart Survey software

The Scottish Parliament is licensed to use Smart Survey which is a third-party online survey system enabling the Scottish Parliament to collect responses to MSP consultations, to extract and collate data from those responses, and to generate statistical information about those responses. Smart Survey is based in the UK and is subject to the requirements of data protection legislation.

Any information you send by email or in hard copy in response to a consultation on a proposal for a Member’s Bill may be added manually to Smart Survey by the MSP’s office or by NGBU.

Read the privacy policy for Smart Survey

While the collected data is held on Smart Survey, access to it is password protected. Where the data is transferred to our own servers at the Scottish Parliament, access will be restricted to NGBU staff through the application of security caveats to all folders holding consultation data.

Retention of data

If a summary of consultation responses is published within six months of the consultation period ending, all of your data will be deleted from Smart Survey as soon as possible after the summary is published. If, six months after the consultation period has ended, a summary has not been published, then responses may be downloaded from Smart Survey and saved (with all the information that would normally not be published – including contact details – removed) to Scottish Parliament IT systems and retained until the end of the session of the Parliament in which the consultation took place. When that is done, all responses will normally be deleted from Smart Survey; but in exceptional circumstances, your data may be retained in Smart Survey beyond the end of the six month period if that is necessary for the purpose of preparing a summary for future publication. All data will be deleted from Smart Survey at the end of the session of the Parliament during which it was collected. If the MSP lodges a final proposal, he/she is required to provide a copy of your response (unless it was “not for publication”), together with your name (unless you requested anonymity), but not your contact details, to the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe), where it will be retained permanently in line with the collection management policy.

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 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 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

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

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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