Privacy Policy

1.0       Introduction

1.1    Welcome to East Lothian Housing Association’s privacy policy. “We” or “we” or “us” or “our” means East Lothian Housing Association is a Scottish Charity (Scottish Charity Number  SC028900), a registered society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 with Registered Number 2266R(S) and having our Registered Office at 18-20 Market Street, Haddington, EH41 3JL.

1.2 We are committed to ensuring the secure and safe management of data we hold for you.  We have a responsibility to comply with the terms of this policy, and to manage your data in accordance with this policy and any documentation referred to.

1.3    We gather and use certain information about you, other service users, our staff and other individuals that we have a relationship with.  We manage a significant amount of data, from a variety of sources.  This data contains Personal Data and Sensitive Personal Data (known as Special Category Personal Data under the UK GDPR).

1.4    This Policy will inform you as to how we look after your personal data when you visit our website (regardless of where you visit it from). This Policy sets out our duties in processing that data, and the procedures for the management of such data.

2.0  Legislation

2.1    It is a legal requirement that we process data correctly and that we collect, handle and store personal information in accordance with the relevant legislation.

2.2    The relevant legislation in relation to the processing of data is:

(a)  The retained EU law version of the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (“the UK GDPR”) as defined in the Data Protection Act 2018.

(b) the Data Protection Act 2018 (and regulations made thereunder).

(c)     The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (as may be amended).

(d)     all other legislation and regulatory requirements in force from time to time which apply to a party relating to the use of Personal Data.

3.0    Data

3.1    We hold a variety of Data relating to you, which is known as Personal Data.  The Personal Data held and processed by us is detailed within our Fair Processing Notice.

3.1.1 Personal Data is that from which a living individual can be identified either by that data alone, or in conjunction with other data held by us.

3.1.2 We also hold Personal data that is sensitive in nature (i.e. relates to or reveals your racial or ethnic origin, religious beliefs, political opinions, relates to health or sexual orientation).  This is “Special Category Personal Data” or “Sensitive Personal Data”.

3.1.3 We also collect, use and share Aggregated Data such as statistical or demographic data for any purpose. Aggregated Data could be derived from your personal data but is not considered personal data in law as this data will not directly or indirectly reveal your identity. For example, we may aggregate your Usage Data to calculate the percentage of users accessing a specific website feature. However, if we combine or connect Aggregated Data with your personal data so that it can directly or indirectly identify you, we treat the combined data as personal data which will be used in accordance with this privacy policy

3.2 If you fail to provide Personal Data 

3.2.1 Where we need to collect personal data by law, or under the terms of a contract we have with you, and you fail to provide that data when requested, we may not be able to perform the contract we have or are trying to enter into with you (for example, to provide you with goods or services). In this case, we may have to cancel a product or service you have with us but we will notify you if this is the case at the time.

4.0    Processing of Personal Data

4.1    We are permitted to process Personal Data on behalf of you provided we are doing so on one of the following grounds:

  • Processing with your consent (see section 4.3);
  • When processing is necessary for the performance of a contract between us and you or for entering into a contract with you;
  • When processing is necessary when complying with a legal obligation;
  • To help investigate any complaints you may have about our service;
  • When processing is necessary to protect the vital interests of you or another person;
  • When processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of any official duties;
  • When processing is necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests.

4.2    Fair Processing Notice

4.2.1    We have produced a Fair Processing Notice (FPN) which we provide to all our customers whose Personal data we hold.  This will be provided to our customers from the outset of processing their Personal Data and will include the terms of the FPN.

4.2.2    Our FPN at sets out the Personal Data processed by us and the basis for that Processing. To view the FPN click here.

4.3  Consent

4.3.1   Sometimes we will require consent when processing Personal Data where no other alternative ground for processing is available.  The consent provided by you must be freely given and we will ask you to sign a consent form if you are willing to consent.  Any consent we obtain must be for a specific and defined purpose (i.e. general consent cannot be sought).

4.4    Processing of Special Category Personal Data or Sensitive Personal Data

4.4.1   In the event that we process your Special Category Personal Data or Sensitive Personal Data, we do so in accordance with one of the following grounds of processing:
You have given explicit consent to the processing of this data for a specified purpose;

  • It is necessary for carrying out obligations or exercising rights related to employment or social security;
  • It is necessary to protect your vital interest or, if you are incapable of giving consent, the vital interests of another person;
  • It is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims, or whenever court are acting in their judicial capacity;
  • It is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest.
  • For scientific research and statistical purposes – to train and deploy Artificial Intelligence speech recognition systems to help us develop and use technology to automate some of our systems, to help improve our efficiency and our tenants’ experience.

5.0     Data Sharing

5.1     We share our data with various third parties for numerous reasons in order that its day to day activities are carried out in accordance with our relevant policies and procedures.  In order that we can monitor compliance by these third parties with Data Protection laws, we will require the third party organisations to enter in to an agreement with us governing the processing of data, security measures to be implemented and responsibility for breaches.

5.2  Personal Data Sharing

5.2.1  Your personal data is from time to time shared amongst us and third parties who require to process your personal data that we process as well.  Both we and the third party will be processing your data in our individual capacities as data controllers.

5.2.2   Where we share in the processing of your personal data with a third party organisation, we shall require the third party organisation to enter in to a Data Sharing Agreement with us.

5.3    Data Processors

5.3.1   A data processor is a third party entity that processes your personal data on behalf of us, and are frequently engaged if some of our work is outsourced.

5.3.2   A data processor must comply with Data Protection laws.  Our data processors must ensure they have appropriate technical security measures in place, maintain records of processing activities and notify us if a data breach is suffered.

5.3.3   If a data processor wishes to sub-contact their processing, prior written consent from us must be obtained.  Upon the sub-contracting of processing, the data processor will be liable in full for the data protection breaches of their sub-contractors.

5.3.4   Where we contract with a third party to process any personal data held by us we shall require the third party to enter in to a Data Protection Addendum.

6.0    Data Storage and Security

6.1    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 business need to know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality. 

6.2    Paper Storage

6.2.1   If your Personal Data is stored on paper it will be kept in a secure place where unauthorised personnel cannot access it.  When your Personal Data is no longer required it must be disposed of.

6.3    Electronic Storage

6.3.1   Your Personal Data stored electronically will also be protected from unauthorised use and access. Examples of our security include:

  • Password protection of documents if appropriate;
  • Controlling access to systems and networks allows us to stop people who are not allowed to view your personal information from getting access to it;
  • Training our staff to allow us to make them aware of how to handle information and how and when to report when something goes wrong;
  • Regular testing of our technology and ways of working including keeping up to date on the latest security updates (commonly called patches).

7.0    Breaches

7.1    A data breach can occur at any point when handling your Personal Data. 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.

7.2 If you suspect your personal information or that of any others may have been at risk of a data protection breach please tell us by emailing us at

7.2    Internal Reporting

7.2.1   We take the security of data very seriously and in the unlikely event of a breach will take the following steps:

As soon as the breach or potential breach has occurred, and in any event on the same working day that it has occurred, the DPO will be notified of: 

  • the breach;
  • how it occurred; and 
  • what the likely impact of that breach is on any data subject(s). 

7.2.2 We will seek to contain the breach by whatever means available

7.2.3 Our DPO will consider whether the breach is one which requires to be reported to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) and all data subjects affected. If a breach poses a risk to the rights and freedoms of a data subject then our DPO will report any such breaches to the ICO within 72 hours of the breach occurring.

7.2.4 We will notify third parties in accordance with the terms of any applicable Data Sharing Agreements.

8.0    Data Protection Officer (“DPO”)

8.1    We have a Data Protection Officer who has an over-arching responsibility and oversight over compliance by us with Data Protection laws.  We have appointed a Data Protection Officer whose details are noted on our website and contained within our Fair Processing Notice.

8.2    Our DPO is responsible for:

  • Monitoring our compliance with Data Protection laws and this Policy
  • Co-operating with and serving as our contact for discussions with the ICO
  • Reporting breaches or suspected breaches to the ICO and data subjects.

9.0  Third-party marketing

We do not share your personal data with any third party for marketing purposes.

10.0 Opting out

10.1 You can ask us to stop sending you marketing messages at any time by following the opt-out links on any marketing message sent to you or by contacting us at any time. 

10.2 If you have an account with us then you can also opt out by logging into the website and checking or unchecking relevant boxes to adjust your marketing preferences.

10.3 Where you opt out of receiving these marketing messages, this will not apply to personal data provided to us as a result of service purchase or other transactions.

11. Cookies

You can set your browser to refuse all or some browser cookies, or to alert you when websites set or access cookies. If you disable or refuse cookies, please note that some parts of this website may become inaccessible or not function properly. For more information about the cookies we use, please see the Cookie Policy.

12. Change of purpose

12.1 We will only use your personal data for the purposes for which we collected it, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If you wish to get an explanation as to how the processing for the new purpose is compatible with the original purpose, please contact us.

12.2 If we need to use your personal data for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and we will explain the legal basis which allows us to do so.

12.3 Please note that we may process your personal data without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with the above rules, where this is required or permitted by law.

13. Your Legal Rights 

13.1  Under certain circumstances, you have rights under data protection laws in relation to your personal data.

13.2 You have the right to:

13.2.1 Request access to your personal data (commonly known as a "data subject access request"). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.

13.2.2 Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected, though we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us.

13.2.3 Request erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have successfully exercised your right to object to processing (see below), where we may have processed your information unlawfully or where we are required to erase your personal data to comply with local law. Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.

13.2.4 Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground as you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes. In some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms.

13.2.5 Request restriction of processing of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios:

  • If you want us to establish the data's accuracy.
  • Where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it.
  • Where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims.
  • You have objected to our use of your data but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it.

13.2.6 Request the transfer of your personal data to you or to a third party. We will provide to you, or a third party you have chosen, your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format. Note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we used the information to perform a contract with you.

13.2.7 Withdraw consent at any time where we are relying on consent to process your personal data. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain products or services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.

13.3 If you wish to exercise any of the rights set out above, please contact us by sending an email to or sending a letter to our registered office address at 18-20 Market Street, Haddington, East Lothian EH41 3JL.

13.4 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.

13.5 You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal data (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive. Alternatively, we could refuse to comply with your request in these circumstances.

13.6 We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. Occasionally it could 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.

14.0 Privacy Impact Assessments (“PIAs”)

14.1 PIAs are a means of assisting us to identify and reduce the risks that our operations have on your personal privacy. 

14.2 We shall:

  • Carry out a PIA before undertaking a project or processing activity which poses a “high risk” to your privacy – high risk can include, but is not limited to, activities using information relating to health or race, or the implementation of a new IT system for storing and accessing your data
  • In carrying out a PIA, we will include a description of the processing activity, its purpose, an assessment of the need for the processing, a summary of the risks identified and the measures that it will take to reduce those risks, and details of any security measures that require to be taken to protect the personal data

14.3  We will consult with the ICO in the event that a PIA identifies a high level of risk which cannot be reduced – the DPO will be responsible for such reporting, and where a high level of risk is identified by those carrying out the PIA they will to notify the DPO within five (5) working days

15.0 Archiving, Retention and Destruction of Data

15.1    We will only retain your personal data for as long as reasonably necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, regulatory, tax, accounting or reporting requirements. We may retain your personal data for a longer period in the event of a complaint or if we reasonably believe there is a prospect of litigation in respect to our relationship with you.

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

15.3 We will keep your information for the duration of providing a service to you. When the service we have provided comes to and end we will keep your personal data for a set time for auditing and reporting purposes and for legitimate interest purposes. After that time we will either anonymise or destroy your information.

15.4 Details of retention periods for different aspects of your personal data are available in our retention policy which you can request from us by contacting us by e-mail to

16.0 Policy Review

16.1 This policy will be reviewed every five years, unless changes in law or practice require an earlier review.  Any changes to the policy will be approved by our Management Committee.

17. Glossary

Lawful basis

Legitimate Interest means the interest of our business in conducting and managing our business to enable us to give you the best service/product and the best and most secure experience. We make sure we consider and balance any potential impact on you (both positive and negative) and your rights before we process your personal data for our legitimate interests. We do not use your personal data for activities where our interests are overridden by the impact on you (unless we have your consent or are otherwise required or permitted to by law). You can obtain further information about how we assess our legitimate interests against any potential impact on you in respect of specific activities by contacting us.

Performance of Contract means processing your data where it is necessary for the performance of a contract to which you are a party or to take steps at your request before entering into such a contract.

Comply with a legal obligation means processing your personal data where it is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation that we are subject to.