Data Protection Reminder

You may remember earlier this year the Alzheimer’s Society was sanctioned by the Information Commissioner for breaches of data protection.  Part of the breach involved volunteers storing and sharing personal and sensitive data in an inappropriate manner.

It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep information about individuals safe and secure.  We ask you to ensure that you keep familiar with, and follow our guidance concerning handling personal and sensitive data.

One of the easiest ways to breach data protection in our current society is through the use of emails.

Here are our quick tips to think about before hitting send:

Who are you sending the email to?

  • Only send to people who need to know
  • Make sure you keep peoples emails private – use the blind copy (bcc) function to do this (this is particularly useful if sending out a newsletter or some minutes)

What are you sending?

  • Only include information that is needed
  • Ensure it is clear, non-judgemental, factual and accurate
  • Don’t put names or personal details in the subject line
  • If you are sending personal information about more than 1 individual you MUST attach the information as a password protected document

So you hit send or receive something and you realise something has gone wrong and has been sent that shouldn’t have been…

Firstly don’t worry, these things can happen to anyone.

Secondly let people know; it is important that you let your VDC know what has happened so that if the Information Commissioning Office gets in touch we can be open, honest and transparent about what has happened.

Lastly try and learn from the mistake, we all make mistakes it’s how we learn from them that matters.

For more information about data protection and emails see our guidance here, or speak with your VDC.



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