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SPICe Online research surveys

This privacy statement explains how we collect and use personal information about you for the following process: online research surveys.

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.


This privacy notice applies to surveys carried out on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) by staff of the Scottish Parliament using the SmartSurvey online survey and questionnaire software.

Such surveys may be administered internally within the Parliament, or externally to stakeholders or other members of the public for the purpose of gathering information to inform the work of the Parliament or of offices within the Parliament.

The purpose of the processing

Online surveys may be undertaken by employees of the SPCB for the purposes of research, for example, to provide information to Parliament managers about staff satisfaction or about the services it provides or resources it manages. Surveys may also be carried out of people and groups outside the Parliament to inform the work of committees or of offices within the Parliament.

The data collected by surveys is stored securely by SmartSurvey within the UK or EU and will be accessible only to SPICe managers and to those staff of the SPCB who carried out the survey. Information may also be extracted and provided in the form of research reports, however, such reports will not identify individuals participating in the survey.

More information about SmartSurvey’s privacy policy

Categories of information processed

The personal information collected and processed by online surveys may include normal category data such as names, addresses and contact details.

Personal information that is collected may also include special category* data including information about: race; ethnic origin; political views; religion; trade union membership; health or sexual orientation.

*Special category data consists of information revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purposes of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation.

Source of the information

For internally-focused surveys, including, for example, staff surveys and office surveys, the source of the information collected will be employees of the SPCB or Members of the Scottish Parliament.

For external surveys – personal data will be provided directly by individuals (data subjects) through their participation in the survey and by their completing a survey questionnaire.

Legal basis for processing

In terms of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) we must have a legal basis for processing personal data (including normal and special category data).

The legal basis for the processing of personal data is that it is carried out with the consent of the data subject in terms of Article 6 (1)(a) UK GDPR and (for special category data) explicit consent in terms of Article 9 (1)(a) UK GDPR. The questionnaire will prompt you to indicate your consent.

Data sharing

Data collected by online survey may be shared internally with other departments within the Scottish Parliament. Any personal data will be aggregated or anonymised so that any reports or other outputs derived from the survey will not identify any individual respondent.

No survey data will be shared with any external organisation or third party.

Retention of data

Data will normally be retained in electronic format for a period of 12 months. During that period, it will be accessible only to staff of the Parliament approved for access. Thereafter, the survey information will be deleted or anonymised by removing all personal data.

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 21 January 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.

Or by phone at: 0303 123 1113

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