Data security policy
This is the data protection policy for Agile Collective. As part of our business we need to collect information from the people we work with. The collection of that data creates an obligation to ensure that we have informed consent to collect information and a transparent plan for managing that information within the scope of data protection regulations.
This policy sets out how we will collect information, store information and seek consent from individuals in relation to the data we store on their behalf.
This policy ensures that Agile Collective complies with all legal obligations to:
- Recognise that individuals that provide us with data are the owner of that data
- To store data in a way that ensures security of that data is the most important consideration
- Provide individuals access to all information that is held by us on request
- Protect the company and the individuals that work for it from the risk of data breach
This policy has been developed in order to comply with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and UK data protection legislation such as the Data Protection Act 1998. As such Agile Collective commits to embed the five Data Protection principles in its business.
- Personal data should be processed fairly and lawfully
- Data should be collected for a clear purpose
- Collection should be adequate for that purpose
- Data shouldn’t be kept for too long
- People supplying data should understand their rights
This policy is designed to mitigate risks that might result from data breaches. Through the implementation of this policy, in its entirety, Agile Collective seeks to:
- Reduce the risk of consent not being informed when data is collected. This ensures that individuals know the purpose of data collection.
- Ensure breaches of confidentiality do not occur and that the only people within the company that have access to data are appropriate for the agreed processing.
- Ensure data is maintained in a secure environment to stop loss or theft.
We take our data protection duties seriously, because we respect the trust that is being placed in us to use personal information appropriately and responsibly.
This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and may be amended at any time.
The Tech Circle is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Data Protection Requirements and with this policy. Any questions about the operation of this policy or any concerns that the policy has not been followed should be referred in the first instance to the Tech Circle or reported in line with the organisation’s Whistleblowing Policy or Grievance Policy.
What is personal data?
Personal data means data (whether stored electronically or paper based) relating to a living individual who can be identified directly or indirectly from that data (or from that data and other information in our possession).
Processing is any activity that involves use of personal data. It includes obtaining, recording or holding the data, organising, amending, retrieving, using, disclosing, erasing or destroying it. Processing also includes transferring personal data to third parties.
Sensitive personal data includes personal data about a person’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, genetic, biometric, physical or mental health condition, sexual orientation or sexual life. It can also include data about criminal offences or convictions. Sensitive personal data can only be processed under strict conditions, including with the consent of the individual.
Data protection principles
Anyone processing personal data, must ensure that data is:
- Processed fairly, lawfully and in a transparent manner.
- Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and any further processing is completed for a compatible purpose.
- Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary for the intended purposes.
- Accurate, and where necessary, kept up to date.
- Kept in a form which permits identification for no longer than necessary for the intended purposes.
- Processed in line with the individual’s rights and in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.
- Not transferred to people or organisations situated in countries without adequate protection and without firstly having advised the individual.
Fair and lawful processing
The Data Protection Requirements are not intended to prevent the processing of personal data, but to ensure that it is done fairly and without adversely affecting the rights of the individual.
In accordance with the Data Protection Requirements, we will only process personal data where it is required for a lawful purpose. The lawful purposes include (amongst others): whether the individual has given their consent, the processing is necessary for performing a contract with the individual, for compliance with a legal obligation, or for the legitimate interest of the business. When sensitive personal data is being processed, additional conditions must be met.
Processing for limited purposes
In the course of our business, we may collect and process the personal data set out in Schedule 1. This may include data we receive directly from a data subject (for example, by completing forms or by corresponding with us by mail, phone, email or otherwise) and data we receive from other sources (including, for example, location data, business partners, sub-contractors in technical, payment and delivery services, credit reference agencies and others).
We will only process personal data for the specific purposes set out in Schedule 1 or for any other purposes specifically permitted by the Data Protection Requirements. We will notify those purposes to the data subject when we first collect the data or as soon as possible thereafter.
If we collect personal data directly from an individual, we will inform them about:
- The purpose or purposes for which we intend to process that personal data, as well as the legal basis for the processing.
- Where we rely upon the legitimate interests of the business to process personal data, the legitimate interests pursued.
- The types of third parties, if any, with which we will share or disclose that personal data.
- The fact that the business intends to transfer personal data to a non-EEA country or international organisation and the appropriate and suitable safeguards in place.
- How individuals can limit our use and disclosure of their personal data.
- Information about the period that their information will be stored or the criteria used to determine that period.
- Their right to request from us as the controller access to and rectification or erasure of personal data or restriction of processing.
- Their right to object to processing and their right to data portability.
- Their right to withdraw their consent at any time (if consent was given) without affecting the lawfulness of the processing before the consent was withdrawn.
- The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office.
- Other sources where personal data regarding the individual originated from and whether it came from publicly accessible sources.
- Whether the provision of the personal data is a statutory or contractual requirement, or a requirement necessary to enter into a contract, as well as whether the individual is obliged to provide the personal data and any consequences of failure to provide the data.
- The existence of automated decision-making, including profiling and meaningful information about the logic involved, as well as the significance and the envisaged consequences of such processing for the individual.
If we receive personal data about an individual from other sources, we will provide them with this information as soon as possible (in addition to telling them about the categories of personal data concerned) but at the latest within 1 month.
We will also inform data subjects whose personal data we process that we are the data controller with regard to that data.
Adequate, relevant and non-excessive processing
We will only collect personal data to the extent that it is required for the specific purpose notified to the data subject.
We will ensure that personal data we hold is accurate and kept up to date. We will check the accuracy of any personal data at the point of collection and at regular intervals afterwards. We will take all reasonable steps to destroy or amend inaccurate or out-of-date data.
We will not keep personal data longer than is necessary for the purpose or purposes for which it was collected. We will take all reasonable steps to destroy, or erase from our systems, all data which is no longer required.
Processing in line with data subject’s rights
We will process all personal data in line with data subjects’ rights, in particular their right to:
- Confirmation as to whether or not personal data concerning the individual is being processed.
- Request access to any data held about them by a data controller.
- Request rectification, erasure or restriction on processing of their personal data.
- Lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority.
- Data portability.
- Object to processing including for direct marketing.
- Not be subject to automated decision making including profiling in certain circumstances.
We take appropriate security measures against unlawful or unauthorised processing of personal data, and against the accidental or unlawful destruction, damage, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of or access to personal data transmitted, stored or otherwise processed.
We have put in place procedures and technologies to maintain the security of all personal data from the point of the determination of the means for processing and point of data collection to the point of destruction.
Personal data will only be transferred to a data processor if they agree to comply with those procedures and policies, or if they put in place adequate measures themselves.
We will maintain data security by protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the personal data, defined as follows:
- Confidentiality means that only people who are authorised to use the data can access it.
- Integrity means that personal data should be accurate and suitable for the purpose for which it is processed.
- Availability means that authorised users should be able to access the data if they need it for authorised purposes.
Wherever we transmit client data electronically, or otherwise, we take care to ensure we are doing so in a safe and secure way, whether by encryption, access control or limiting the number of recipients. Client data is only given to third-parties with the explicit consent of the client.
Two factor authentication
All sensitive client data will be protected with two factor authentication, including:
- All Google Drive accounts with access to client data must have two factor authentication enabled.
We use the following third parties in our supply chain:
- Google (Google docs, email) Used for internal and client communications.
- Bytemark (hosting) Used for Virtual Servers for clients, development sites and internal systems
- Hetzner (backups and hosting) Offsite encrypted backups for disaster recovery and internal systems.
- Webarchitects (backups) Offsite database backup service.
We undertake a number of procedures to ensure personal data is secure, which include:
Our primary support system uses the Drupal Open Atrium distribution which is protected by HTTPS and receives regular security maintenance updates. Server login details and other related information are stored on a per-client basis within Atrium and access is granted to staff members and specific members of our clients teams on a per website basis.
All code is kept under source control using git and is hosted on a GitLab server with access controlled on a per project basis and all traffic encrypted using HTTPS and SSH.
Our email is hosted with Google and protected by SSL and automatic anti-virus software.
Physical file storage
Files are stored on individual computers and on the office Network Attached Storage (NAS) device. Our business requires us to hold client files and databases and care is taken to ensure that these are not exposed to anyone outside of the Company and that only those employees who need access as part of their work are given access.
Cloud file storage
Our cloud file storage is hosted by Google and protected by HTTPS. Access management is in place to limit access to company employees, and any non-company individual’s access is managed on a per-folder and per-file basis.
Our primary communications methods are Google Meet, Zoom and Appear.in, all of which use SSL to encrypt connections. From time to time, we use Skype which uses end-to-end 256 bit AES encryption for both voice and text based communications.
On-site network connections
Our on-site network connections and any home-office network connections are protected with WPA2 security as a minimum.
Off-site network connections
We do not connect to non-secure or WiFi networks that we cannot verify the security of. We have secure mobile 3G/4G devices available to connect to our own personal WiFi hotspots when needed.
All the servers we maintain are backed up nightly to our backup server hosted with Hetzner in Germany. Backups are encrypted on the local server before being transferred over SSH to the backup server, meaning that backed up data doesn’t leave the server in an unencrypted format. The encryption keys for each server’s backed up data are backed up to the office NAS.
We keep the latest 10 daily server backups along with the latest 4 weekly backups, monthly backups are kept for 1 year. This ensures that we can retrieve files and databases if they are accidently deleted or restore an entire server in case of disaster.
Individual computers are backed up to the office NAS or external hard drives when an individual is based away from the office.
We monitor sites with Icinga (for service status), Munin (for performance statistics) and a down detector that sends alerts if a website is offline. These allow us to identify and fix critical problems as soon as they occur. All server logs are sent to a secure remote logging server and stored for 90 days.
In the event of a cyber attack, it is likely that our monitoring systems will alert our systems administrators, who will assess the situation and decide on the appropriate action to take. This may be dealt with in house or may lead to liaising directly with the hosting company to take further action. Each situation is unique so there is no single response to such an attack, but we have technical systems administrators available for urgent situations.
All of our offices are located in secure buildings, protected by locks and alarm systems. All of our computing equipment is stored in our offices, or in home-offices in secure environments.
Movement of data
Whenever company laptops or devices containing personal or company data are moved outside of our office or home-offices they are kept on our persons at all times, or transferred into secure storage.
Transferring personal data outside of the EEA
We may transfer any personal data we hold to a country outside the European Economic Area (‘EEA’) or to an international organisation, provided that one of the following conditions applies:
- The country to which the personal data are transferred ensures an adequate level of protection for the data subjects’ rights and freedoms.
- The data subject has given his consent.
- The transfer is necessary for one of the reasons set out in the Act, including the performance of a contract between us and the data subject, or to protect the vital interests of the data subject.
- The transfer is legally required on important public interest grounds or for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- The transfer is authorised by the relevant data protection authority where we have adduced adequate safeguards with respect to the protection of the data subjects’ privacy, their fundamental rights and freedoms, and the exercise of their rights.
Subject to the requirements above, personal data we hold may also be processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for us or for one of our suppliers. Those staff may be engaged in, among other things, the fulfilment of contracts with the data subject, the processing of payment details and the provision of support services.
In order to be consistent with data protection regulations, we will seek informed consent for the collection and use of all personal data. Consent will take the form of an affirmative action on the part of the individual. Consent will not be assumed based on the method by which the data was obtained.
We will ensure that the consent process is distinct from any need to set out terms and conditions in respect of contracts or transactions.
The consent process will set out in plain English: -
- Preferred means of contact
- The purpose of collecting data
- The process for withdrawing consent
- The limit on how long data will be held
In any case where we are made aware of a data breach, the Tech Circle will be notified at the earliest opportunity, who will in turn alert the Members.
In line with Data Protection Regulations the Accountable Individual will also notify the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) of the breach and set out short term actions that will be taken to:-
- Identify the scope of the breach
- Identify individuals affected by the breach
- Identify actions to mitigate further breach
- Develop a plan to communicate with individuals
The Tech Circle will be the main point of liaison between Agile Collective and the ICO, and will prepare a paper for the Members outlining all the actions set out above.
Where an external body notifies the Company of a data breach then the same actions outlined above will be taken.
Data and third parties
In working with data and third-party organisations, we will ensure that all data obtained will be treated in the same manner as if it had been obtained from individuals.
Consent will not be assumed for processing and, if necessary, will be sought from the individuals.
Where working with a third-party organisation requires the transfer of personal data, we will ensure that explicit consent is sought from the individuals to make such a transfer.
The commitment to explicit consent will be reflected in all contracts made by Agile Collective.
Subject access requests
Individuals must make a formal request for information we hold about them. Employees who receive a request should forward it to the Tech Circle immediately.
When receiving telephone enquiries, we will only disclose personal data we hold on our systems if the following conditions are met:
- We will check the caller’s identity to make sure that information is only given to a person who is entitled to it.
- We will suggest that the caller put their request in writing if we are not sure about the caller’s identity and where their identity cannot be checked.
Where a request is made electronically, data will be provided electronically where possible.
Our employees will refer a request to the members for assistance in difficult situations.
Changes to this Policy
We reserve the right to change this policy at any time. Where appropriate, we will notify changes by email.
Please see our Record of Processing which details the personal data we process, why we need it and what we use it for.