REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION, CITING PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS, WITHIN THE CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY IN ENGLAND, WALES AND NORTHERN IRELAND

PRIVACY NOTICE

This privacy notice (“Notice”) describes the policies and procedures relating to the use of personal data provided by individuals and/or organisations providing evidence to the Conservative Party Investigation, (“Investigation”), as advertised on www.singhinvestigation.co.uk. 

Providing evidence for the Investigation

Members of the public and/or organisations (“Contributors”) may submit evidence via the website at www.singhinvestigation.co.uk (the “Site”) and submit requests for further information to [email protected] in accordance with the Call for Evidence described on the Site.  The Site and email address are managed by Professor Swaran Preet Singh, and by his team on his behalf (“The Singh Investigation”, “we”, “us”, “our”).

The Singh Investigation will assess evidence provided and may invite Contributors to provide further evidence or to be interviewed by telephone, online or in-person. The Singh Investigation will then use the information obtained to help formulate the Independent Investigation into Discrimination, Victimisation and Harassment in the Conservative Party’s final report. No personal data of Contributors will be included in the final report.

This Notice describes how we will collect, store and process personal data during this process.

It is important that you read this Notice together with any other notice or statement provided so that you are fully aware of how and why your personal data will be processed and protected.

A.   Controller

For the purposes of data protection law, Professor Singh is the controller of personal data collected, stored and processed as a result of the Call for Evidence.  This means that Professor Singh determines the purposes and means of processing this personal data.

Professor Swaran Singh is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) on the Register of Fee Payers under registration number ZA779024.

You can direct any questions or comments about this Notice or the privacy practices of the Singh Investigation by email to [email protected].

B.    What is “personal data”?

The term “personal data” as used in this Notice means any information that identifies a natural person, directly or indirectly, by reference to an identifier such as name, identification number, location data, online identifier or one or more factors specific to a natural person.

There are particular types of personal data known as “special category” data.  This includes personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, health, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade-union membership or sexual orientation.  The Singh Investigation does not request any of special category information but acknowledges that it may be included in any evidence provided.

C.   What personal data does the Singh Investigation collect?

When providing evidence, a Contributor may provide personal data in their online submission, during an interview and/or when corresponding with the Singh Investigation by post, phone, email or otherwise. Such personal data provided may include:

  • personal identifiers and  contact details and characteristics (such as name, email address, telephone number, home/work address);
  • membership of The Conservative and Unionist Party (the “Conservative Party”) or other political parties;
  • details of any actions, observations and/or comments, whether about the Contributor him or herself, or any other person.  Some of these details may include special category data.

D.   Processing purposes and the legal bases for the processing

The Singh Investigation will process personal data for the following purposes:

  • to fulfil the obligations of the Singh Investigation’s Terms of Reference (set out at https://www.conservatives.com/investigation) giving the public an opportunity to raise details of incidents, concerns and alleged discrimination that the Conservative Party may be unaware of;
  • to formulate the evidence for the Singh Investigation’s final report;
  • to contact and correspond with Contributors regarding their evidence;
  • as part of the Singh Investigation’s efforts to keep systems safe and secure;
  • to comply with applicable law, for example, in response to a request from a court or regulatory body;
  • to resolve disputes and to respond to and defend against legal claims.

Contributor personal data is usually processed on the basis of the Contributor having given consent or that it is in the legitimate interests of the Singh Investigation to ensure a fair and open process and effective evidence gathering in respect of incidents, concerns and alleged discriminatory activity.

We process personal data about persons mentioned in any evidence given by Contributors on the basis that it is in the substantial public interest to prevent and detect unlawful acts.

E.   Disclosure of personal data

All evidence, supporting documents and any personal data are stored in a secure encrypted data room with a reputable law firm.  

If the evidence given by a Contributor raises a concern, mentions an incident or alleged discriminatory activity by or about another person, the Singh Investigation may provide the name and/or address of that other person to the Conservative Party in order to confirm whether he or she is a Party member and whether the concern incident or allegations made have already been dealt with by the Party.  This is to ensure that the Singh Investigation is only considering evidence that is within its Terms of Reference [Terms of Reference, 12 May 2020, link]. In limited cases where there is a discrepancy between the evidence given by a Contributor and the handling of the matter by the Conservative Party,  with the explicit consent of all involved, the Singh Investigation may obtain a copy of the Conservative Party’s investigation file.

In the event of a complaint or when dealing with data subject rights we may provide relevant personal data to our professional advisers, to the Information Commissioner’s Office, courts or tribunals and for very serious matters, we may also disclose relevant personal data to those responsible for law enforcement.

We will not sell, license or share any personal data received as part of the Singh Investigation to or with any third parties, except in the situations described in this Notice unless the individual provides his or her prior consent.

F.   International transfer of personal data

We do not transfer personal data obtained for the Singh Investigation outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”).

G.  Retention of personal data

We will retain Contributor personal data and all evidence (which may include personal data), for the duration of the Singh Investigation.  For up to 6 months after its final report is published, we may continue to hold it in order to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes and enforce rights. After this, the Singh Investigation expects to destroy the information but, if we wish to keep a Contributor’s personal data beyond this period, we will contact the Contributor to explain why and, if necessary, seek the Contributor’s permission.

H.   Data subject rights

In certain circumstances Contributors and other individuals have rights under data protection law in relation to their personal data – specifically the rights to:

  • request access to personal data;
  • request correction of personal data;
  • request erasure of personal data;
  • withdraw consent to the processing of personal data (this does not affect the validity of the consent prior to it being withdrawn);
  • object to the processing of personal data;
  • request restriction of processing personal data; and
  • request transfer of personal data to a third party.

To exercise these rights, please contact the Singh Investigation using the contact details provided in Section A above.

If the request is made by letter, please include your name, address and email address.  We may require information to verify identity in order to ensure we are dealing with the correct person.

We aim to respond to requests made within one month of receipt but may extend that period by two further months where necessary.

We do not charge a fee for the exercise of any of the rights listed above, but reserve our right to charge a reasonable fee, or to refuse to act on requests which are manifestly unfounded or excessive.

I.    Complaints

If you believe that we have not complied with our obligations under this Notice or data protection law, you have the right to make a complaint to Information Commissioner’s Office.

J.     Changes to the Notice

We keep this Notice under regular review. This version was last updated on the date set out at the top of the page. 

It is important that the personal data we hold is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal data changes during the Call for Evidence.