Data Protection requests
Subject access requests
Data protection legislation allows you, the data subject, to gain access to any of your personal information which is held by the council. You can request copies of your information by contacting us directly. When we receive your request, we'll ask for a copy of your ID to check that we're sending your personal data to the right person. We may ask for one of the following forms of photo ID and proof of address:
- driving licence
- tenancy agreement
Once your identity has been verified, we'll begin to process your request and locate your data. We have one calendar month (around 30 calendar days) to respond to your request.
We may write to you to request additional information to help us locate your information. For example, if you ask for all of the information the council holds on you, we may ask you which departments you have dealt with such as the housing or benefits team. If you do not provide further information, we may not be able to provide a full response within the one calendar month deadline.
Once you receive your information, you may find that certain data has been redacted or removed. When we're processing your request, we may need to remove (redact) data if :
- the data is about someone else
- a professional thinks that if the data is released, it will cause serious harm to your or someone else’s physical or mental wellbeing
- if we think that giving you the information may stop us from preventing or detecting a crime
If we've removed any of the data, we'll tell you why. In addition, we'll also tell you:
- where we received your data from
- why we're processing your data
- the retention period
- the categories of data we're processing
Normally, we will not share your data with any other person. However, in some situations, you may want for someone else to make a subject access request on your behalf. When we receive the request, we will need to see evidence that you have given permission for them to do this. This can be done by a signed letter attached to the request. If we're concerned, we may contact you to check that you're happy for the release or we may refuse the request in full.
To make a subject access request, email email@example.com or write to:
Access to Information Team
2nd floor Hub 1
PO Box 64529
If you'd like to make your request in another way, please contact the Access to Information team on 0207 525 5000.
If you're unhappy with the response the council has provided you, you can ask for the decision to be reviewed. A senior officer will look at the documents that you have been sent and check if all information that you are entitled to has been provided. You also have the right to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if you are unhappy with how the council has handled your request. To contact the ICO, visit www.ico.org.uk.
Sometimes the council is required to share data with third parties. These can include but are not limited to:
- the police
- other local authorities
- central government departments
Where we can, we'll tell you in advance if your data will be shared with any third parties. You'll be informed in most cases when your data is collected. However, when we're required to share your data for the purposes of crime, taxation or by another law, you will not be informed.
If you're making a request under Schedule 2, Part 1 of the Data Protection Act 2018, use the Southwark Disclosure form (docx, 24kb). Please do not use this form to ask for information about yourself.
Page last updated: 10 May 2023