This page explains how we use your data.
This Privacy Notice is a statement by The Public Defence Solicitors’ Office to clients that describes how we collect, use, retain and disclose personal information which we hold. This privacy notice is part of our commitment to ensure that we process your personal information/data in accordance with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 and any other applicable data protection law in the United Kingdom.
It applies to Personal Data provided to us, by both individuals that the data relates to or by third parties
The Public Defence Solicitors’ Office is a service operated by the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB), which is the public authority which administers legal aid in Scotland in terms of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986. The Data Controller is the Scottish Legal Aid Board the contact details of which are shown at the last page of this notice.
We provide legal services directly to individuals. In carrying out this function we collect, use and retain different types of personal information about you. We rely on specific provisions under Article 6 of the General Data Protection Regulation as the lawful basis for processing of data, as a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.
Our lawful basis for processing your data will also include contractual obligations to you as a client and is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
We collect, use and store different types of personal information about you. This may include:
Your personal information will be used for the purposes of conducting legal case work.
If you are part of our supply chain, we will process your personal information for the purpose of procuring and consuming goods and services, and to fulfil our contract with you. This may include your personal contact information and information required for you to supply products and services to us.
If you contact us with an enquiry, comment or complaint, we will use the personal information you provide to us to respond and resolve your issue. We may ask you to provide additional personal information if it is necessary for this purpose.
Your personal information will be used to facilitate a visit to PDSO premises and to comply with Health and Safety Legislation and Security requirements.
Some types of personal information are defined as special. We will only collect and use these types of information where we need to and using provisions under Article 9 of the General Data Protection Regulation.
Special categories of personal data include:
We have put in place appropriate security measures to protect your personal information from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal information to those people who have a business need to know.
We have put procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected breach where we are legally required to do so.
In some circumstances we may anonymise or pseudonymise personal Data so that it can no longer be associated with you, in which case we may use it without further notice.
We will share personal data with third parties where we are required by law or where we have another lawful basis for doing so.
In sharing any of your information we will always comply with our professional duty of confidentiality to you as set out in Standard Rule B1.6 of The Law Society of Scotland.
Certain services are provided by third parties on our behalf and we may share your personal data with them for example, third parties are used to provide:
All of our third-party service providers are required to take commercially reasonable and appropriate security measures to protect your personal data. We only permit our third-party service providers to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.
If you are part of our supply chain your information may be shared with:
While we would not normally transfer data outside the EU, in exceptional circumstances where this is the case all personal data will be provided with adequate protection and transferred lawfully. Where we transfer personal data outside of the EU to a country not determined by the European Commission as providing adequate level of protection for personal data, the transfers will be under an agreement which covers the EU requirements for the transfer of personal data outside the EU, such as the European Commission approved standard contractual clauses.
We sometimes need to share the personal information we process with other organisations. When this is necessary, we will comply with all aspects of the relevant data protection laws. The organisations we may share your personal information with include:
We, or organisations working on our behalf, may contact you for research purposes. Participation in such research is entirely voluntary, you are under no obligation to take part.
We will retain your personal information as a client for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for and to meet our professional obligations as set out by the Law Society of Scotland and the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.
The period that we will retain your information for depends both on the type of your case and the outcome of your case. This means:
Other records, which are not required to be retained as part of our statutory function, will be kept for a period of time depending on:
We will only process the personal information we hold in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation and for SLAB’s function under the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986.
We continually review our data retention policies, and we reserve the right to amend the retention periods without notice.
It is important that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and up to date. Please keep us informed if your personal information changes.
Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) you have the right:
If you want to review, verify, correct or request erasure of your personal information, object to the processing of your personal data, request that we transfer a copy of your personal information to another party or request the reconsideration of an automated decision, please contact our Data Protection Officer at DPO@slab.org.uk
You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal information (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request for access is clearly unfounded or excessive. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with the request in such circumstances.
We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access the information (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is another appropriate security measure to ensure that personal information is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it.
Where you have provided your consent to the collection, processing and transfer of your personal information for a specific purpose, you have the right to withdraw your consent for that specific processing at any time. To withdraw your consent, please contact our DPO. Once we have received notification that you have withdrawn your consent, we will no longer process your information for the purpose or purposes you originally agreed to.
If you are unhappy with the response you get from us, you can ask us to look again at your request – you can write to SLAB’s Data Protection Officer at SAR@slab.org.uk or using SLAB’s postal address. At any time, you are entitled to ask the Information Commissioner to review our decision or to go to court to enforce your rights.
We keep this privacy notice under regular review. This privacy notice was last updated on 10/03/2023.
Data Protection Officer
Scottish Legal Aid Board
91 Haymarket Terrace
Telephone: 0131 226 7061
The Information Commissioner
You can find information about how to report a concern to the Information Commissioner on her website at www.ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/
Alternatively you can call them on 0303 123 1113 or write to:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Or to the Scottish Regional Office for the ICO:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Queen Elizabeth House
Tel: 0303 123 1115