Very useful article for community groups from Ian Hulme, Director for Regulatory Assurance at the Information Commissioner's Office.
As COVID-19 continues to sweep across the UK, more and more people are driven to help the most vulnerable in our communities. Church groups, neighbourhood and residents associations are being set up to support the work of existing community groups, services and charities.
Often, these groups need to handle sensitive personal information and share it with others. And that means taking account of data protection law.
If you’ve just formed a community group, this may be the first time you’ve had to think about data protection. Put simply, the law is a set of sensible standards that will help you handle people’s information responsibly. That means taking proper care of things like people’s names and addresses as well as more sensitive details about their health or religion.
Crucially, data protection rules will not stop you from helping those in need.
This blog is intended to clarify some of the basics of data protection, and to give established community groups, services and charities clarity on how to apply the law in this extraordinary time.