Data Protection Policy

Introduction

For. Interchange Co., Ltd. needs to gather and use certain information about individuals.

These can include customers, suppliers, business contacts, employees and other people the organization has a relationship with or may need to contact.

This policy describes how this personal data must be collected, handled and stored to meet the company’s data protection standards — and to comply with the law.

 

Why this policy exists

This data protection policy ensures For. Interchange Co., Ltd.:

  • Complies with data protection law and follow good practice 
  • Protects the rights of staff, customers, and partners
  • Is open about how it stores and processes individuals’ data
  • Protects itself from the risks of a data breach

 

Data protection law

The Data Protection Act 1998 describes how organizations — including For. Interchange Co., Ltd.— must collect, handle, and store personal information. 

These rules apply regardless of whether data is stored electronically, on paper, or on other materials.

To comply with the law, personal information must be collected and used fairly, stored safely, and not disclosed unlawfully.

The Data Protection Act is underpinned by eight important principles. These say that personal data must:

  1. Be processed fairly and lawfully
  2. Be obtained only for specific, lawful purposes
  3. Be adequate, relevant, and not excessive
  4. Be accurate and kept up to date
  5. Not be held for any longer than necessary
  6. Processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects
  7. Be protected in appropriate ways
  8. Not be transferred outside the European Economic Area (EEA), unless that country or territory also ensures an adequate level of protection

 

Policy scope

This policy applies to:

  • The head office of For. Interchange Co., Ltd.
  • All branches of For. Interchange Co., Ltd.
  • All staff and volunteers of For. Interchange Co., Ltd.
  • All contractors, suppliers, and other people working on behalf of For. Interchange Co., Ltd.

It applies to all data that the company holds relating to identifiable individuals, even if that information technically falls outside of the Data Protection Act 1998. This can include:

  • Names of individuals
  • Postal addresses
  • Email addresses
  • Telephone numbers
  • …plus any other information relating to individuals

Data protection risks

This policy helps to protect For. Interchange Co., Ltd. from some very real data security risks, including:

  • Breaches of confidentiality. For instance, information being given out inappropriately.
  • Failing to offer choice. For instance, all individuals should be free to choose how the company uses data relating to them.
  • Reputational damage. For instance, the company could suffer if hackers successfully gained access to sensitive data.

 

Responsibilities

Everyone who works for or with For. Interchange Co., Ltd. has some responsibility for ensuring data is collected, stored, and handled appropriately.

Each team that handles personal data must ensure that it is handled and processed in line with this policy and data protection principles. 

 

Data Storage

These rules describe how and where data should be safely stored. When data is stored on paper, it should be kept in a secure place where unauthorized people cannot see it.

These guidelines also apply to data that is usually stored electronically but has been printed out for some reason:

  • When not required, the paper or files should be kept in a locked drawer or filing cabinet.
  • Employees should make sure paper and printouts are not left where unauthorized people could see them.
  • Data printouts should be shredded and disposed of securely when no longer required.

When data is stored electronically, it must be protected from unauthorized access, accidental deletion, and malicious hacking attempts:

  • Data should be protected by strong passwords that are changed regularly and never shared between employees.
  • If data is stored on removable media (like a flash drive), these should be kept locked away securely when not being used.
  • Data should only be stored on designated drives and servers, and should only be uploaded to an approved cloud computing services.
  • Servers containing personal data should be sited in a secure location, away from general office space.
  • Data should be backed up frequently. Those backups should be tested regularly, in line with the company’s standard backup procedures.
  • Data should never be saved directly to laptops or other mobile devices like tablets or smart phones.
  • All servers and computers containing data should be protected by approved security software and a firewall.

 

Data Use

Personal data is of no value to For. Interchange Co., Ltd. unless the business can make use of it. However, it is when personal data is accessed and used that it can be at the greatest risk of loss, corruption, or theft:

  • When working with personal data, employees should ensure the screens of their computers are always locked when left unattended.
  • Personal data should not be shared informally. In particular, it should never be sent by email, as this form of communication is not secure.
  • Data must be encrypted before being transferred electronically.
  • Employees should not save copies of personal data to their own computers. Always access and update the central copy of any data.

 

Data Accuracy

The law requires For. Interchange Co., Ltd. to take reasonable steps to ensure data is kept accurate and up to date.

The more important it is that the personal data is accurate, the greater the effort For. Interchange Co., Ltd. should put into ensuring its accuracy.

It is the responsibility of all employees who work with data to take reasonable steps to ensure it is kept as accurate and up to date as possible. 

  • Data will be held in as few places as necessary. Staff should not create any unnecessary additional data sets.
  • Staff should take every opportunity to ensure data is updated. For instance, by confirming a customer’s details when they make contact.
  • For. Interchange Co., Ltd. will make it easy for data subjects to update the information For. Interchange Co., Ltd. holds about them. For instance, via the company website.
  • Data should be updated as inaccuracies are discovered. For instance, if a customer can no longer be reached on their stored e-mail address, it should be removed from the database.

 

Subject Access Requests

All individuals who are the subject of personal data held by For. Interchange Co., Ltd. are entitled to:

  • Ask what information the company holds about them and why.
  • Ask how to gain access to it.
  • Be informed how to keep it up to date. 
  • Be informed how the company is meeting its data protection obligations.

If an individual contacts the company requesting this information, this is called a subject access request.

Subject access requests from individuals should be made by email, addressed to the data controller at [email protected].net. The data controller can supply a standard request form, although individuals do not have to use this. The data controller will aim to provide the relevant data within 30 days.

The data controller will always verify the identity of anyone making a subject access request before handing over any information.

 

Disclosing Data for Other Reasons

In certain circumstances, the Data Protection Act allows personal data to be disclosed to law enforcement agencies without the consent of the data subject.

Under these circumstances, For. Interchange Co., Ltd. will disclose requested data. However, the data controller will ensure the request is legitimate, seeking assistance from the board and from the company’s legal advisers where necessary.

 

Providing Information

For. Interchange Co., Ltd. aims to ensure that individuals are aware that their data is being processed, and that they understand:

  • How the data is being used
  • How to exercise their rights 

To these ends, the company has a privacy statement, setting out how data relating to individuals is used by the company.

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