Privacy and confidentiality

Citizens Advice East Suffolk

Privacy and Confidentiality Policy

Privacy policy

At Citizens Advice we collect and use your personal information to help solve your problems, improve our services and tackle wider issues in society that affect people’s lives.

We only ask 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 and never sell it to commercial organisations or anyone else.

We collect and use the details you give us so that we can help you. We have a ‘legitimate interest’ to do this under data protection law. This means it lets us carry out our aims and goals as an organisation. We will always explain how we use your information.

At times we might use or share your information without your permission. If we do, we’ll always make sure there’s a legal basis for it. This could include situations where we have to use or share your information:

  1. to comply with the law – for example, if a court orders us to share information (this is called ‘legal obligation’)

  2. to protect someone’s life – for example, sharing information with a paramedic if a client was unwell at our office (this is called ‘vital interests’)

  3. to carry out our legitimate aims and goals as a charity – for example, to create statistics for our national research (this is called ‘legitimate interests’)

  4. for us to carry out a task where we’re meeting the aims of a public body in the public interest – for example, delivering a government or local authority service (this is called ‘public task’)

  5. to carry out a contract we have with you – for example, if you’re an employee we might need to store your bank details so we can pay you (this is called ‘contract’)

  6. to defend our legal rights – for example, sharing information with our legal advisers if there was a complaint that we gave the wrong advice

We handle and store your personal information in line with the law – including the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018.

You can check our main Citizens Advice privacy policy for how we handle most of your personal information. This policy explains how we, as your local charity, handle your information locally in our offices.

How Citizens Advice East Suffolk will use your information

We use a secure information system called Casebook to keep your personal information safe. This system is provided by the national Citizens Advice organisation.

When you contact us, information that you provide is only captured with your consent and then entered into Casebook. We only use that data in line with your agreement to help to resolve your problems; we may share it with others but only when you give us authority to act on your behalf.

We only use your information to help you with your issues and to ensure that the services we provide are relevant to your needs. We do this by analysing the data we hold in a way that does not identify individuals.

If you apply to work or volunteer at any of our offices, we collect your personal information through your application form, interview or references so that we can process your application. This is collected with your signed consent. If you are offered a role within our organisation, where applicable we may ask you to fill out a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) form as part of mandatory background checks. A DBS form does ask for some personal information as part of the background check process.

What Citizens Advice East Suffolk ask for

To find out what information we ask for, see our National Citizens Advice privacy policy.

Working on your behalf

When you give us authority to act on your behalf, for example to help with a Universal Credit claim, we may need to share information with a third party. With your consent, we commonly share information on your behalf with a range of organisations including, but not limited to:

- East Suffolk Council;

- East Anglia Revenues Partnership;

- Suffolk County Council;

- your housing association or other landlord, if necessary; and

- The Department of Works and Pensions (DWP).

How we store your information

To find out how we store your information, see our National Association Privacy Policy.


We retain your information for 6 years. If your case has been subject to a serious complaint, insurance claim or other dispute we keep the data for 16 years.


Citizens Advice East Suffolk is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and conforms to the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that protect the data privacy of all EU citizens.

Senior Information Risk Officer

Citizens Advice East Suffolk has a Senior Information Risk Officer to oversee enquiries relating to this policy at Felixstowe, Leiston, Lowestoft and Beccles.

You can contact us to:

  • find out and / or correct the personal information we hold about you;

  • request we delete your information;

  • ask us to limit what we do with your data;

  • ask us to give you a copy of the data we hold; and

  • ask us to stop using your information

By calling your nearest office or by emailing .

Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FRN 617682

Charity registration number: 1115522. Company number: 5866861

Registered office: St Margaret’s House, Gordon Road, Lowestoft NR32 1JQ