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Privacy Policy

This page tells you about the Scottish Police Authority's Privacy Policy.

The Authority respects your privacy and is committed to protecting your personal data. This Privacy Notice below will tell you how we use your personal data when you visit our website or contact us in any other way and will tell you about your privacy rights and how the law protects you. In addition, we have a Privacy Notice (Law Enforcement) which outlines how we will use your personal data when we process it for law enforcement purposes and will tell you about your privacy rights and how the law protects you.

1. Important Information and Who We Are

The Purpose of This Privacy Notice

This Privacy Notice aims to give you information on how we collect and process your personal data including any data you may provide through this website, that you provide to us through any other communication or that we receive from a third party. It is important that you read this Privacy Notice and any other privacy notice or fair processing information that we may provide on specific occasions, when we are collecting or processing personal data relating to you. This Privacy Notice is intended to be read together with other SPA notices and is not intended to replace them.

The Data Controller, and What We Do

The Authority is a public authority that is vested by law (Police and Fire Reform Act 2012) to maintain policing, promote the policing principles outlined in the Act, deliver continuous improvement of policing and hold the Chief Constable to account.

The Authority is the data controller and is responsible for your personal data (referred to as: “Authority”, “we”, “us” or “our” in this Privacy Notice).

We have appointed a Data Protection Officer (DPO) who is responsible for overseeing questions in relation to this Privacy Notice. If you have any questions about this Privacy Notice, including any requests to exercise your legal rights, please write to the DPO at the following address:

Data Protection Officer
Scottish Police Authority
1 Pacific Quay
G51 1DZ

2. The Data We Collect About You

Personal data means any data about an individual from which that person can be identified, directly or indirectly, and which relates to them. It does not include data where the identity has been removed (anonymous data).

Categories of Data

We may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal data about you in the following categories:

  • Identity Data includes name, marital status, title, date of birth and gender
  • Contact Data includes address, email address and telephone numbers
  • Financial Data includes bank account and payment card details
  • Technical Data includes internet protocol (IP) address, your login data, browser type and version, time zone setting and location, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform and other technology on the devices you use to access this website
  • Profile Data includes details of complaints, legal claims, independent custody visiting volunteer performance information, subject access request details, FOISA request details, general enquiry details
  • Application data includes information collected as part of recruitment process including application details and references, interview notes, information about your health or if you have had an accident at work, CVs, references
  • Professional data includes details of third parties with whom SPA enters into contracts, or receives services from, or corresponds with for the purposes of its statutory functions, or receives enquiries from
  • Usage Data includes information about how you use our website.

We may also process Special Categories of Personal Data about you (this includes details about your race or ethnicity, religious or philosophical beliefs, sex life, sexual orientation, political opinions, trade union membership, information about your health and genetic and biometric data) where necessary to carry out our legal obligations or exercise our legal rights. We may also process special category personal data where we have your explicit consent, where it is needed in the substantial public interest, where it is needed in relation to legal claims or where you have already made the information public.

We may also use data relating to criminal convictions where the law allows us to do so. This will usually be where such processing is necessary to carry out our obligations or where it is necessary in relation to legal claims, where it is necessary to protect your interests (or someone else’s interests) and you are not capable of giving your consent, or where you have already made the information public.

We do not knowingly collect data relating to children.

Where we need to collect your personal data by law, or to process your personal data under the terms of a contract we have with you and you fail to provide that personal data when requested, we may be unable to perform the contract that we have with you or that you are trying to enter into.

Data accuracy

It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal data changes during your relationship with us, by contacting us at the address provided in this notice.

3. How is Your Personal Data Collected?

Direct interactions

We use different methods to collect personal data from you, or from other sources about you, including through direct interactions: you may give us your Identity and contact data by filling in forms or by corresponding with us by post, phone, email, or otherwise. This includes personal data you provide when you:

• make a complaint
• enquire in relation to volunteering
• apply for a vacancy.

Third parties or publicly available sources

We may receive personal data about you from various third parties and public sources, such as: your current or former employer or Police Scotland

4. How We Use Your Personal Data

We will only use your personal data when the law allows us to do so. Most commonly, we will use your personal data in the following circumstances:

  • Where it is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in us.
  • Where we need to perform the contract we are about to enter into or have entered into with you.
  • Where it is necessary for our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests.
  • Where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation.

Generally, we do not rely on consent as a legal basis for processing your personal data but, where we do, we will obtain your consent in a way that is valid under Data Protection Law (the Data Protection Act 2018 and, from 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and any legislation that, in respect of the United Kingdom, replaces, or enacts into United Kingdom domestic law, the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679, the proposed Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications or any other law relating to data protection) and you will have the right to withdraw consent at any time by contacting us at:

5. Purposes For Which We Will Use Your Personal Data

We will process your data only for the purpose it was collected. Data will not be processed for any other purposes that do not have any reasonable/compatible link with the purposes for which it was originally collected, except where required/permitted by law.

We have set out in Annex A below, a description of the ways we will process your personal data, and the legal basis we rely on to do so. We have also identified what our legitimate interests are, where appropriate.

Note that we may process your personal data in reliance on more than one lawful basis, depending on the specific purpose for which we are using your data.

6. Cookies

A cookie is a small text file that a website saves on your computer or mobile device when you visit the site to offer you a better browsing experience. It enables the website to remember your actions and preferences (such as language, font size and other display preferences) over a period of time, so you don't have to keep re-entering them whenever you come back to the site or browse from one page to another.

In common with most websites, there are three main types of cookies in operation on the Authority's website:

  • Session Cookies: This type of cookie is used to remember your log in details and what you've added to your basket. These are necessary to ensure the website functions correctly.
  • Performance Tracking Cookies or Traffic Cookies: This type of cookie is used to track visits and to identify the pages in use. This helps us analyse data about webpage traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to our customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and then the data is removed from the system.
  • Third Party Cookies: This type of cookie comes from services provided by third parties.

You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. However please note that if you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website. For more information about cookies, how to identify them and how to delete them see:

7. Third-Party Links

This website may include links to third-party websites, plug-ins and applications. Clicking on one of those links or enabling those connections may allow third parties to collect or share data about you. We do not control these third-party website and are not responsible for their privacy statements. When you leave our website, we encourage you to read the privacy notice of every website you visit.

8. Disclosures of Your Personal Data

We may have to share your personal data with the parties set out below for the purposes set out in the table in Annex A. In particular, we may share you data with:

  • Police Scotland
  • Police Investigations and Review Commissioner
  • HM Revenue & Customs
  • Our agents and advisors
  • External Auditors
  • Third party Service Providers to the Authority.

We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes and only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions. The third parties are also required to comply with Data Protection Law.

10. Data Security

We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a lawful basis to process your personal data. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.

11. Data Retention

How Long Will You Use My Personal Data For?

We will only retain your personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting or reporting requirements.

To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the purposes for which we process your personal data and the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data used to fulfil that purpose, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements.

Details of retention periods for different aspects of your personal data are set out in our Records Retention Policy.


You have rights as an individual under Data Protection Law in relation to your personal data. 

  • Request access to your personal data (a data subject access request), which enables you to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you and the check that we are lawfully processing it.
  • Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you, to have any incomplete or inaccurate information corrected.
  • Request erasure of your personal data, so that we delete or remove personal data where there is no good and lawful reason for us to continue to process it (although in some cases we can refuse this request where we can claim exemptions as a data controller).
  • Object to processing of your personal data where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing or where we are relying on a legitimate interest (of the Authority or of a third party) and there is something specific to your particular situation which gives rise to your objection.
  • Request the restriction of processing of your personal data, through the suspension of our processing, e.g. where you want us to establish its accuracy or the reasons for the processing.
  • Request the transfer of your personal data to another party in an easily portable format.

If you wish to exercise any of the rights set out above, please contact our DPO:

What We May Need From You

We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access your personal data (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is a security measure to ensure that personal data is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it. We may also contact you to ask you for further information in relation to your request, to speed up our response.

Time Limit to Respond

We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. Occasionally it may take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.

For more information and guidance about any of these rights, please go to the website of the Information Commissioner’s Office at

13. Complaints

You have the right to make a complaint about how we have dealt with your personal data at any time to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues ( We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with any concerns you might have before you approach the ICO, if you would like to contact us in the first instance.

14. Changes to this Privacy Notice

We keep our Privacy Notice under regular review and reserve the right to update and amend it. This notice was last updated on 27/09/2018.

15. Further Information

For further information about any aspect of this notice please contact our Data Protection Officer,


Category of Individuals




Type of data


Lawful basis for processing including basis of legitimate interest
Job applicant To consider your employment application


Performance of a contract with you
Custody Visitor Volunteer To process your application to become a custody visitor


Entering/Performance of a contract
Custody Visitor Volunteer To monitor custody visitor diversity Identity
Special category


Custody Visitor Volunteer To monitor/review details of custody visits/rotas/expenses Identity
Special obligation
Member of the Public To deal with complaints Identity
Special category
Statutory obligation
Member of the Public  To deal with FOISA requests Identity
Special category
Statutory obligation
Member of the Public  To deal with SARs Identity
Special category
Statutory obligation
Local Scrutiny conveners/Council leaders/other stakeholders To contact external stakeholders for community accountability purposes Identity
Public task/official authority
Employees of third parties Contact with third party service providers, contractors, partners or any other external organisation Identity
Performance of a contract with you
Legitimate interests
Website visitor To administer and protect our website (including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, system maintenance, support, reporting and hosting of data) Identity Data
Usage Data
Necessary for our legitimate interests (for running our business, provision of administration and IT services, network security, to prevent fraud and in the context of business reorganisation or group restructuring exercise)