Your policies, procedures and guidance should set out how your staff ought to respond to sharing requests. Any sharing of data must comply with the law, be fair, transparent and in line with the rights and expectations of the individuals whose data you are sharing. Your policy should explain how you will achieve compliance with these requirements, eg monitor information sharing logs, quality assess samples of instances of sharing.
Your policy should also link in with your Data protection impact assessment (DPIA) policy or process, as you should carry out a DPIA on any data sharing that poses a high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals. You should communicate this policy to all staff, eg via your intranet.
It is good practice to nominate a senior, experienced person to take overall responsibility for information sharing, ensure compliance with the law, and provide advice to staff making decisions about sharing.
Your policy should make it clear who this person is and how to contact them.
You should also provide specialist training to this individual to allow them to fulfil their role.
It is essential to provide appropriate training to staff that are likely to make significant decisions about data sharing or have access to shared data. The nature of the training will depend on their role within the sharing process. You can incorporate this into any training you already give on data protection, security, or legal obligations of staff.
You should also maintain staff awareness through materials such as posters, office wide emails, intranet updates or data sharing content in newsletters.
Your business should be able to justify the reasons why you decided to share specific personal data. Sharing should be lawful and comply with any statutory restrictions. In addition you must be able to establish your appropriate lawful basis for the processing set out in data protection legislation. You also need to satisfy a separate condition if you are sharing special categories of personal data.
In some instances you may need to agree and formalise the way you share personal data. This may be due to the number of requests you receive from a particular organisation or because you have introduced a new process that means you need to share large quantities of data.
Prior to introducing a DSA, you should complete and record a DPIA. This ensures that your business has legal authority to share the information and that the sharing complies with the GDPR.
Your DSA should address all risks relevant to the type of sharing you are undertaking. As a minimum, it should address: * the purpose or purposes of the sharing; * the potential recipients or types of recipient and the circumstances in which they will have access; * the data you will share (this should be kept to the minimum necessary for your purposes); * data quality â€“ accuracy, relevance, usability etc; * data security; * retention of shared data; * individuals' rights â€“ procedures for dealing with access requests, queries and complaints; * review of effectiveness/termination of the sharing agreement; and * sanctions for failure to comply with the agreement or breaches by individual staff. You should review these arrangement regularly. You should check whether you still need the data to fulfil the purposes you are sharing it for and whether the DSA still reflects current data sharing arrangements
You must process personal data fairly and lawfully. In order for it to be considered fair, you need to explain to individuals how you will use their personal data and who you will share it with. You should include this information in your privacy information. It should clearly explain the reasons why you are using the data including any disclosures or sharing.
Your business should have appropriate technical and organisational measures in place to protect personal data that you share.
It is therefore important that you set out, and ensure compliance with, agreed levels of security when you share personal data.
Please see our information security checklist for hints and tips on how to improve the security of personal data you hold.
In addition, when transferring data between organisations you should take appropriate measures to ensure its security while in transit. This may include the use of encryption on email, secure file transfer protocol (SFTP) or Virtual Private Network (VPN) for electronic files. Equally you should have equivalent security around paper documents in transit. Controls might include using a reliable courier or other secure postage, locked containers or tamper evident packaging.
You should assign responsibility for responding to requests for personal data to one or more individuals.
You should have a documented process for dealing with requests for personal data efficiently and in accordance with data protection legislation.
Management should approve this process and you should make it readily available to staff.
The process should also include details about how to: * seek verification of the requestors identity; * calculate any administrative fees (if applicable); * find and retrieve the information requested; * comply with the timescales for response; * log the request and manage each stage of the response process; * apply derogations if applicable; * redact information; and * quality check responses.
You must provide information in response to a request free of charge. However, you can charge a â€˜reasonable feeâ€™ when a request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is repetitive. You may also charge a reasonable fee to comply with requests for further copies of the same information. You must base the fee on the administrative cost of providing the information.
You may find it useful to produce a checklist to summarise and track each stage of the process.
You should retain copies of your responses for audit purposes.
You should train all staff on their responsibilities to identify, process and escalate requests. You should provide training shortly after their appointment and updates at regular intervals thereafter to maintain their awareness. Awareness materials might include posters, office wide emails, intranet updates and newsletters.
Staff with specific responsibilities such as processing, logging or overseeing responses to requests for personal data should receive appropriate training in order to allow them to carry out their role effectively.
You should periodically review your documented process and, where appropriate, update it to ensure it remains adequate and relevant.
You should have mechanisms to regularly monitor and report on agreed performance measures, and apply any recommendations or lessons learned.
Your business should consider maintaining records that show measures and reporting, eg management information/KPI, meeting minutes, emails, etc.
You could introduce periodic compliance checks and audits to demonstrate any reviews of your process.