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The Fathers4Justice Foundation (F4J) holds personal data about individuals for purposes associated with its campaign work; in order to provide counselling and advocacy support services; and in connection with fundraising and donations. These are our core processing purposes (Purposes).This policy sets out how F4J seeks to protect personal data and achieve compliance with the relevant legislation including the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). F4J’s main contact for privacy matters is Nadine O’Connor who can be contacted at [email protected]. F4J is a “controller” for the purposes of information it collects and processes about individuals.

This policy applies to all personal data processed by F4J. It may be supplemented, depending on the method by which individuals contact us and the nature of their dealings with us, by our website privacy and cookies policy, forum rules and other relevant notices, as updated from time to time.

In this policy, the following terms are used:

personal data – information relating to identifiable individuals such as clients, enquirers, family members and other contacts associated with cases we take on; supporters and donors connected with the work of F4J; volunteers and case workers who assist us from time to time; and other individuals with whom we have dealings in the course of our activities and/or whose services we engage (eg consultants and service providers, media contacts etc.)

special category personal data – personal data about an individual’s race or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or similar beliefs, trade union membership, physical or mental health or condition, sex life or sexual orientation. This category of personal data is subject to additional safeguards in terms of its processing due to its nature and potential for causing harm or detriment if mishandled or protected inadequately.

What Information We Collect

 The information collected by F4J about individuals may include the following:-

  • name and contact details;
  • details of family circumstances and of requirements for advice and support;
  • preferences for receiving campaign and fundraising updates;
  • transaction data, such as where you pay fees for services we provide – this is for invoicing and to enable us to keep appropriate records (though note that we do not collect or hold credit or debit card information);
  • usage information relating to the forum and the F4J website; and
  • sometimes, as relevant to the provision of support and advisory services, we may collect and hold special category personal data and criminal offence information, though this is usually minimal and is generally limited to the information supplied by the service user.


How We Use Your Personal Information

We will only use individuals’ personal data for the Purposes or otherwise in very limited circumstances where we are required by law to make a disclosure and/or the processing is necessary to comply with a legal obligation. More specifically, we process personal data as follows:

  • where we need to do so in order to enter into and perform a contract with an individual or provide a service (for example, to provide counselling and advocacy support or grant access to our forum);
  • where it is necessary for our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) provided the individuals’ interests and fundamental rights do not override our/the third party interests (for instance, to keep in touch and update you on our campaigning work, events or fundraising activities from time to time); and
  • where we need to comply with a legal obligation or there is an urgent and compelling requirement for information to be shared with external authorities (eg there is an urgent child safeguarding issue or risk of physical harm to any person).

Generally, we do not rely on consent as a legal basis for processing individuals’ personal data other than in limited circumstances, when we will make it clear what you are agreeing to at the point of collecting the relevant information. Participation in F4J events or the making of comments on our forum implies willingness to be identified as being involved in public activities or, as applicable, as the author of comments and views published by you (to the extent you are capable of being identified from your user name and/or other information you make available). You can ask us at any time to stop sending you information about our campaigning, events or fundraising initiatives if you do not wish to receive this.

Who We Share Your Personal Information With

We treat all information provided to us as confidential, particularly in the context of casework. We may share personal data as required and/or permitted with:

  • legal advisers, barristers and court administration personnel;
  • external case advisers, if involved, eg McKenzie friends;
  • other parties to legal proceedings (subject to our duty of confidentiality to you);
  • exceptionally, the police and social services – but only where we are legally required to do so or you agree to us sharing information;
  • our payment processing agent (for the purposes of taking payment for counselling and advocacy support, online donations, forum membership or F4J merchandise – NB we do not store credit or debit card details); and
  • our service providers such as accountants and IT contractors who are under direct obligations to keep personal data confidential and secure.


Overseas Transfers of Personal Data

We do not generally have any need to (and, therefore, do not) make any transfers of personal data collected in connection with our casework outside the EEA. This is because the cases with which we can assist and the courts we seek to make representations to/about are usually limited to those in the UK. We may use an email marketing tool, such as MailChimp, to send out email updates and newsletters. In that case, MailChimp is signed up to the US Privacy Shield framework and therefore contains safeguards for individuals. For information about our website, please see our separate website privacy and cookies policy.

Data Security

We take appropriate steps to keep personal information confidential and secure. Any volunteers or employees who work on cases are required to observe strict confidentiality requirements and are provided with training on data protection. In addition, we take steps to protect information on hardware and in the applications we use for the purposes of undertaking F4J’s activities. We regularly back-up our computer records and store these securely. Data in transit and on removable media/devices is protected with security measures and, ultimately, all data is destroyed via secure means when no longer needed.

How Long Will Personal Data be Retained?

We will only use and store individuals’ personal information as long as necessary in order to fulfil the Purposes (which will include consideration of legal limitation periods, F4J’s need to keep appropriate records for a period to evidence assistance/services provided and the likelihood of needing to refer back to case notes in the event of related future enquiries).

Details of the retention periods for different types of records are available on request – please email [email protected].

In some circumstances, we may anonymise personal data (so that it can no longer be associated with a particular individual) in which case we may use the information indefinitely without needing permission or providing any additional notice that we will do so.

Your Rights

In certain circumstances, individuals can exercise rights in relation to their personal data processed by F4J as follows:

  • access to the personal data held about them, usually free of charge;
  • correction of any personal data that is inaccurate, out of date or incomplete;
  • to object to the processing of personal data (for example, at any time for marketing purposes or where consent to processing is withdrawn and no other legal basis applies);
  • to be “forgotten” – this applies sometimes, where there is no other legal basis for F4J holding and processing your personal data;
  • to restrict processing of your personal data in some circumstances – this means we can store but not process your information and would apply, for instance: where you want us to establish the accuracy of the personal data; where requirements for processing the data lawfully are not met but you want us to keep it anyway; where we no longer need the personal data but you require us to hold it for the purposes of making a claim, exercising or defending legal rights; or where you have objected to our use of your personal data and we need to assess whether our legitimate interests override such objection;
  • to data portability which refers to the right to “port” or transfer data from one IT environment to another (and, eg, from one service provider to another).

We do not process personal data and make decisions based solely on automated means.

In order to exercise any of the individual rights above or if you have any queries about F4J’s data privacy compliance, please contact Nadine O’Connor at [email protected]. We will acknowledge your request and comply within the timescale provided for in the relevant legislation (generally, one month). We may need further information in order to comply with your request and/or to take steps to verify your identity in order to ensure we release information to the right person.

Although we would hope to be able to resolve any concern or issue with the processing of your personal data by F4J directly, you have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner for data protection issues in your country. We would, however, appreciate the chance to investigate and deal with your concerns before you take this action, so please feel free to contact us in the first instance.

This policy will be kept under review and may be updated from time to time.

Version: October 2018

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