In the work environment, you’ll often hear talk of ‘GDPR’. You may even have seen it on facebook, where people are blaming GDPR for all manner of things that they are no longer allowed to do.
But, it is important to understand what GDPR means in respects to offering help to your neighbours.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have issued some really good guidance – and it’s really easy to understand, not difficult to implement, and not overbearing either.
Technically, if you’re part of a community effort to help your neighbours, and you know things like their telephone number, bank details or medical conditions, then you do have a legal requirement to protect that neighbour’s information.
Here’s a link to the ICO’s guidance… https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-and-events/news-and-blogs/2020/03/community-groups-and-covid-19
It gives simple tips about how to be clear, open and honest when talking about how you’re going to use a neighbour’s details.
It gives guidance on whether you can share that information, and how to keep it secure – either by following basic IT Security if that data is on your phone or PC, or where to keep it if you’ve written it down (clue: don’t stick it on your fridge door! – instead, follow these 6 steps: https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/2617548/ico-data-security-guide-to-the-basics.pdf ).
As long as you’re keeping a record of what you’ve done, you’ll be fine.
But, the ICO have been clear to stress that needing to adhere to the principles of GDPR should NOT get in the way of providing the vital help that our communities need.