The ICO exists to empower you through information.

View our 'what we do with your personal data when you...' infographic for a basic overview of the below information.


Purpose and lawful basis for processing

When you contact us to make an enquiry, we collect information, including your personal data, so that we can respond to it and fulfil our regulatory responsibilities.

The lawful basis we rely on to process your personal data is article 6(1)(e) of the UK GDPR, which allows us to process personal data when this is necessary to perform our public tasks as a regulator.

If the information you provide us in relation to your enquiry contains special category data, such as health, religious or ethnic information the lawful basis we rely on to process it is article 9(2)(g) of the UK GDPR, which also relates to our public task and the safeguarding of your fundamental rights. And Schedule 1 part 2(6) of the DPA2018 which relates to statutory and government purposes.

What we need and why we need it

We need enough information from you to answer your enquiry. If you call the helpline, we won’t make an audio recording of it and we won’t usually need to take any personal information from you. But in certain circumstances we may make notes to provide you with a further service as required.

If you contact us via email or post, we’ll need a return address for response.

What we do with it

We’ll set up a case file on our case management system to record your enquiry and so we can get it to the correct area of the business to be dealt with. We’ll also keep a record of our response. We use the information supplied to us to deal with the enquiry and any subsequent issues that may arise, and we may also check on the level of service we provide by asking you to complete a customer satisfaction survey.

How long we keep it

For information about how long we hold personal data, see our retention schedule.

If you agree to participate in the customer experience survey, ICS will keep your survey response for 30 days from the survey closes. They will keep your name and email address for 9 months from the survey expiry date.

What are your rights?

We are acting in our official capacity to respond to your enquiry, so you have the right to object to our processing of your personal data. There are legitimate reasons why we may refuse your objection, which depend on why we are processing it.

For more information on your rights, please see ‘Your rights as an individual’.

Do we use any data processors?

We do not use any data processors to handle enquiries.

We use the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) as a data processor to run our customer satisfaction surveys.