Privacy and Cookies

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is regulated by the Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulation, and is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as a Data Controller.

We abide by the data protection principles and will ensure that your data is handled and processed lawfully.

Use of Personal Information

We use your personal information to provide you with services and deal with your service requests. This information may be shared between different services within the Council, or may be provided to third party organisations who provide services on our behalf. Examples of these third party providers may be waste and recycling contractors or housing associations.

Some services, such as Revenues and Benefits or Housing, may collection information that is defined as Sensitive Personal Data by the Data Protection Act 1998. We will not disclose this information without your explicit consent, except where we are required to by law, or where we have good reason to believe that failing to do so would put you or someone else at risk.

You may decide you do not wish your personal information to be collected or shared by us. You also have the right to set conditions of use on your personal information. However, this may result in us not being able to provide you with the services you require, or only provide these in a limited way.

Some information, such as Electoral Registration information, is required by statute, and you have an obligation to provide this type of information when requested to do so. We may ask for personal information related to the protected characteristics in the Equalities Act 2010, which we will use in order to ensure we are complying with equalities legislation. This type of information does not identify individuals.

We will use and process information to data-match across our services for the purposes of fraud prevention or crime detection, and we may also use and analyse personal information to ensure we spend public money to the best effect. Sometimes, we may provide data to other organisations such as Kent County Council, the Department for Work and Pensions or the Police, but we will ensure these organisations have sufficient data protection and handling policies in place first, before we pass on this information.

Third parties

TWBC does not pass personal or sensitive data on to third parties for purposes of marketing, sales or any other commercial activity. We will only pass on personal or sensitive information for the prevention of crime or the detection of fraud, or where we have contracted out our services to a third party provider. In these circumstances we will ensure that your data is handled in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Our Website

Visitors to our website

When someone visits www.tunbridgewells.gov.uk we use a third party service, Google Universal Analytics, to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. This information is only processed in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make, and do not allow Google to make, any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website. If we do want to collect personally identifiable information through our website, we will be up front about this. We will make it clear when we collect personal information and will explain what we intend to do with it.

Our website search is powered by our Content Management System (CMS) Squiz Matrix. Search queries and results are logged anonymously to help us improve our website and search functionality. No user-specific data is collected by either Tunbridge Wells Borough Council or any third party

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file composed of alphanumeric characters, which is created on your computer when your browser accesses a website that uses cookies. The files are used to help people navigate the website and fully use all its features such as logins, preferences, language settings and themes, among other common features. Most cookies are used solely to help your browser process a website and don’t snoop any data within your file system. Cookies can however be used for more intrusive purposes since they store information about a user's browsing preferences and history, both on a specific site and browsing among several sites, cookies can be used to act as a form of spyware.

More information here: www.allaboutcookies.org

From the 26 May 2011, new EU Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations came into effect stipulating how cookies should be used. We encourage you to accept the cookies our website uses as they help us to improve the user experience for you and many others.

How we use cookies

Social Website Cookies

So you can easily Like or share our content on the likes of Facebook and Twitter we have included sharing buttons on our site.

Cookies are set by:

  • ShareThis.com

The privacy implications on this will vary from social network to social network and will be dependent on the privacy settings you have chosen on these networks.

Site Improvement Cookies

We sometimes test new designs or site features on our site.  We do this by showing slightly different versions of our website to different people and anonymously monitoring how our site visitors respond to these different versions.  Ultimately this helps us to offer you a better website.

Anonymous Visitor Statistics Cookies

We use cookies to compile visitor statistics such as how many people have visited our website, what type of technology they are using (e.g. Mac or Windows which helps to identify when our site isn't working as it should for particular technologies), how long they spend on the site, what page they look at etc, as well as to make assumptions on age, gender and the interests of our visitors.  This helps us to continuously improve our website. These so called analytics programs also tell us if, on an anonymous basis, how people reached this site (e.g. from a search engine) and whether they have been here before.

We use:

  • Google Analytics
  • DoubleClick

We also use technology to determine how people who phone us arrived on our website (e.g. from a search engine or by clicking on an advert). This is to help us to identify how people heard about us. Please be aware that if you call us, using a phone number on the website we can potentially tell how you arrived on our website. Again this ultimately helps us keep down costs for you.

To delete cookies or reject cookies

We recommend you allow the cookies we set using this website as they help us provide a better service. If you do not want to receive cookies from this website, select cookie settings under the privacy settings in your browser options, add our domain to the list of websites you do not want accept cookies from.

Under settings you can also delete individual cookies or any cookies that your browser has stored. You can find more information on how to delete and control cookies at www.aboutcookies.org

If you set your browser to refuse cookies, please be aware that there may be functionality on various websites that do not work. old db new nginx

If you would like any further information about cookies and what we're doing to comply with the 2011 legislation please email website@tunbridgewells.gov.uk.

Links to other websites

This privacy notice does not cover the links within this site linking to other websites. We encourage you to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit.

LiveChat service

Our LiveChat service which we use to handle customer enquiries through our website is powered by WhosOn and the system is supplied and supported by Parker Software.

If you use the LiveChat service we will collect your name, email address (optional), the DNS of your internet service provider and the contents of your LiveChat session. This information will not be shared with any other organisations.

You can request a transcript of your LiveChat session if you provide your email address when prompted at the end.

Your rights under the Data Protection Act

You have a range of rights under new data protection laws, which include:

  • the right to be informed
  • the right of access
  • the right to object
  • the right to rectification
  • the right to restrict processing
  • the right to request rectification of data
  • the right to be forgotten
  • the right to data portability
  • For more information please refer to this document, or contact dataprotection@tunbridgewells.gov.uk if you have any specific queries or concerns about how we are using your data.

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