Citizens Advice Devon Privacy Policy

Citizens Advice Devon is committed to safeguarding your privacy. As a consortium of seven local Citizens Advice charities, Citizens Advice Devon will only collect personal information in very limited circumstances. Examples include where someone applies for a job with us or where someone contacts us for information or advice about a matter which relates directly to our role as a consortium.

At Citizens Advice Devon, we may need to collect and use your personal information to help respond to your enquiries, resolve complaints, improve our services and tackle wider issues in society that affect people’s lives.

We will only ask you for the information we need. We always let you decide what you’re comfortable telling us, explain why we need it and treat it as confidential.

When we record and use your personal information we:

  • only access it when we have a good reason
  • only share what is necessary and relevant
  • don’t sell it to anyone

We handle and store your personal information in line with data protection law.

When you use our website, we collect a type of data called cookies which tell us what you’re clicking on. You can read more about how we use cookies in our Online Privacy & Cookies page.

Who’s responsible for keeping your personal information safe

For information you share with Citizens Advice Devon, we (Citizens Advice Devon) are responsible for keeping that information safe and making sure we comply with data protection law.

For information you share with your local Citizens Advice, the national Citizens Advice charity and local Citizens Advice are both responsible for keeping your data safe and complying with the law: They are ‘joint data controllers’ for your personal information. Each local Citizens Advice is an independent charity and a member of the national Citizens Advice charity.

If you’ve used a local Citizens Advice

The national Citizens Advice privacy policy will tell you most of what you need to know about what happens to your personal information.

You may also want to check the local Citizens Advice privacy policy too, as there might be some extra information around how your data is stored or shared. If you want to do this, you can contact them directly or check their website.

What information we ask for

So we can help you with your enquiry, we need to know:

  • your name
  • which local Citizens Advice you’re contacting us about (if relevant)
  • at least one way we can get in touch with you – email, phone or address
  • details of the enquiry or complaint

We’ll always tell you how we’ll use your information and ask your permission.

How we use your information

We use the information you give us to deal with your enquiry or complaint, or if we contact you, we’ll explain how we want to use your information

We’ll only access your information for other reasons if we really need to – for example

  • for training and quality purposes
  • to investigate complaints
  • to include anonymised statistics in internal reports

All staff accessing data have done data protection training to make sure your information is handled sensitively and securely

When we share your information

If your enquiry is about your local Citizens Advice, we might refer the enquiry to someone there who will look into it. We’ll only do this with your permission.

If you have a complaint or matter which you escalate to an external independent adjudicator, we’ll share your complaint information with them. If this complaint involves an insurance claim, we might share details of your complaint with our insurance representative, ADS

We might share your anonymised information with government or industry regulators as part of our campaigns and policy work.

Organisations we share your data with must store and use it in line with data protection law – they can’t pass it on or sell it without your permission.

Storing your information

We’ll store your information securely on our internal systems – sensitive data will be password protected.

We keep your data for the minimum time needed; for example this may be 6 years in the case of employment and financial dealings.

You can find out more about your data rights on the Information Commissioner’s website.

Could we use your information without your explicit permission?

At times we might use or share your information without your permission. We’ll only do this if there’s a legal basis for it. This could include situations where we have to use or share your information:

  • to comply with the law, called ‘legal obligation’ – for example, if a court orders us to share information
  • to protect someone’s life, called ‘vital interests’ – for example, sharing information with a paramedic if a client was unwell at our office
  • to carry out our aims and goals as an organisation, called ‘legitimate interests’ – for example, to create anonymous case studies and statistics for our national research
  • for us to carry out a task in the public interest or for our official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law, called ‘public task’ – for example the Consumer Service
  • to carry out a contract we have with you, called ‘contract’ – for example, if you’re an employee we might need to store your bank details so we can pay you
  • to defend our legal rights – for example, to resolve a complaint that we gave the wrong advice

We collect your information from you via phone, email, online form or letter – depending on how you’ve contacted us. If someone contacts us on your behalf about an enquiry or complaint, we’ll get your permission before we log any of your information.

Contact us about your information

You can contact us at any time and ask us:

  • what information we’ve stored about you
  • to change or update your details
  • to delete your information

Send us an email at

If you want to make a complaint

If you’re not happy with how we’ve handled your data, you can make a complaint.