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About us

Privacy Statement

To help Northern Ireland Water Limited (referred to as NI Water, we, us or our in this Privacy Notice) manage our relationship with you and provide a better service, we may need to collect, store and use information that can be used to identify you. From a legal point of view, this is known as ‘processing personal information’.

Looking after your personal information is as important to NI Water as it is to you. The information in this Customer Privacy Notice will explain:

  • Who we are
  • How and why we process your personal data
  • Your rights
  • How you can get in touch with us if you need to

NI Water’s aim is to respect your privacy and comply with current UK data protection legislation (i.e. EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA)). References in this Privacy Notice are made to GDPR, but you should note that GDPR and DPA both apply in the UK.


SUMMARY NOTICE

  • We keep to a minimum the information we hold about you.
  • We use your information to provide our services to you, respond to your enquiries, manage our relationship with you and meet our legal obligations;
  • We delete your data when we no longer need it.
  • Generally, we do not share your personal information with third parties, but there are some exceptions.
  • You have lots of privacy rights.
  • We take security seriously.
  • We are happy to answer your questions about any of this.


FULL NOTICE

The sections below tell you what personal information is, who we are and what we do, what personal information we collect and what we do with it. They explain how GDPR protects you by explaining what NI Water is allowed to do with your personal information and clarify how to complain or withdraw your consent. They also tell you how long we keep your personal information, how you can get a copy of it or ask for it to be changed or removed, and with whom we might lawfully share your personal information.



Who we are and what we do

NI Water (including Northern Ireland Water Alpha Ltd and its employees) is the sole provider of public water and sewerage services in Northern Ireland. We are a non-departmental public body (NDPB) and a Government-Owned Company (GoCo), established in April 2007. For the purposes of GDPR, we are the ‘controller’ of any personal information you give us.

We may require the services of external third parties to process your personal information on our behalf. These companies are referred to as ‘processors’. Any data processors NI Water uses also have their own legal responsibility for handling your data.

NI Water’s registered office address is:

Northern Ireland Water Limited
Westland House
40 Old Westland Road
Belfast
BT14 6TE

Telephone: 03457 440088
Email: waterline[AT]niwater[DOT]com

Who does this Privacy Notice apply to?

This Privacy Notice relates to the collection and use of the personal information of individuals, sole traders and individuals in non-limited business partnerships. Although data about larger commercial entities is not considered ‘personal’ information (and therefore not captured by GDPR), where NI Water can identify an individual acting in their professional capacity, either directly or indirectly, the legislation will apply.

For example, if NI Water has the name and number of a business contact on file, or their email address identifies them (e.g. initial.lastname@company.com), GDPR is relevant.

It is intended that this Privacy Notice covers the following.

  • Existing, potential and previous customers and those acting on their behalf;
  • Suppliers (and/or their staff);
  • Contractors (and/or their staff);
  • Elected representatives (MPs, MLAs, Councillors);
  • Members of environmental action groups;
  • Journalists;
  • Developers;
  • Visitors to our sites;
  • Visitors to our website;
  • Individuals interacting with our Legal department;
  • Individuals making general enquires about our services;
  • Advisors to all of the above or other people providing assistance to them;
  • Farmers, land managers and land owners completing a Land Incentive Scheme application as part of NI Water's partner status in Sourcetotap, or completing an application for free weed-wiping in the Glenhordial and Seagahan Reservoir catchment areas.
  • Readers of and contributors to NI Water's staff magazine Waterline.

What is personal information?

Personal information is anything that identifies and relates to a living person. This can include information that, when put together with other information, can then identify a person; for example, your name and contact details.

How do we collect personal data

We collect personal information in a number of ways and circumstances:

  • If you are a sole trader or an individual in a non-limited business partnership, NI Water may collect personal information from your water meter, when we visit you at home, in connection with works or repairs, when you provide information to us in our Self Service Portal, over the telephone, in a letter, email or fax, on Contact Us forms or via social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook);
  • Please note that telephone calls at our Customer Service Centre are recorded for training and quality purposes;
  • We also use CCTV cameras on our sites to capture images of people and vehicle identification information, such as number plates, for security and health and safety purposes;
  • We may also collect personal information given to us if we meet in person; for example, visiting your business premises to address a billing or operational matter;
  • We receive some personal information from law enforcement agencies (e.g. Police, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs, etc.);
  • When you have given a third party permission to share with us the information they hold about you;
  • When you take part in customer engagement activities;
  • When you choose to complete any surveys we send you;
  • When any of our partners collect information on our behalf;
  • The landlord of your supply address may provide us with your name as the Occupier of their billable property;
  • If you apply for a job within NI Water or are part of a tender process application;
  • Via secure, remote, real-time access on specific contractors’ vehicles GPS to allow NIW to track contractor’s personnel on site to assist NIW with measuring response times, maintaining and improving security at affected properties, operational/asset awareness to allow for quick identification of who is working on an affected site/property if alarms are triggered, confirmation of measurement labour costs and knowledge of staff locations to perform Quality Assurance checks;
  • Via application form, in completing a Land Incentive Scheme application, as part of NI Water's partner status in Sourcetotap;
  • Via application form, in completing a free weed-wiping service application, as part of NI Water's work with the Water Catchment Partnership and the farming industry, to help reduce levels of the herbicide MCPA in the Glenhordial and Seagahan Reservoir catchment areas.
  • Via articles, which may include photographs, in the staff magazine Waterline. This helps promote the essential nature of the work we do and, in particular to celebrate staff and Company achievements. The magazine also has a limited external circulation to some of NIW's key stakeholders, including; MLAs, MEPs and MPs, Education and Library Boards, Health and Social Care Trusts, Chambers of Commerce, Borough, City and District Councils, Agencies, Associations, Charities, Colleges, Councils, Federations, Institutes, etc.
  • At public information meetings and with the attendees’ informed consent, for the purposes of keeping them updated on the project that affects them. The information is used solely for project information purposes and is destroyed securely at the end of the project.
  • Via customer returns from proactive mail drops and from online returns via NI Water’s “Keeping you Informed” Web form, to register for messages about NI Water services, ensure our records are accurate and up-to-date (in line with GDPR) and allow us to improve our service to you.
  • Ensuring that the highest levels of services to customers are maintained regardless of disruptions to the infrastructure or facilities i.e. business continuity arrangements and service recovery plans which may include a member of staff's or Contractor or Supplier’s name, telephone extension, mobile telephone number and role.

What personal information we collect and what we do with it

The personal information we process may include:

  • Identification data, including your name and contact details, such as: address, email address, telephone (landline and/or mobile) number;
  • Payment and service information: water usage information, payment details, account history;
  • Video images: Press Office and CCTV footage, which may include vehicle registration number;
  • Special category (sensitive) personal information; i.e. if you have provided us with details of your health or personal circumstances (e.g. you have a medical condition or need extra help and are on our Customer Care Register);
  • Data about how your property is connected to mains water supply, drainage and sewerage networks and performance of those networks, e.g. pressure logging, flooding history, etc;
  • Personal information relating to claims, which may include special category data, such as medical information;
  • NI Water may receive requests for personal information from law enforcement agencies, such as the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), in response to which we may disclose personal information for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection, or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties;
  • Personal information processed in the investigation of a leak, a problem with your water supply or wastewater service. We may need to share your data with our contractors attending the location and assisting us to resolve the matter;
  • Your communications with us;
  • Copies of identifying documents, such as passport, birth certificate, driving licence, etc., to enable us to confirm your identity where required;
  • Your social media username or ‘handle’, if you interact with us through those channels, to help us respond to your comments, questions or feedback;
  • Your responses to any surveys you chose to take part in;
  • Nominee information including power of attorney, third party authorisation and other nominee details;
  • Recordings of telephone calls;
  • Contact with our Developer Services team in relation to a new development, replacing existing water supplies, requisitioning a water main/sewer or applying to self-lay water mains and services
  • Information provided in the course of tender processes;
  • Information provided in the course of external recruitment exercises including but not limited to:
    • employment history, other relevant experience, achievements, skills and qualifications,
    • equalities monitoring information (if provided);
    • the outcome and results of any interviews or tests, which form part of the recruitment process;
    • employment references and the results of any pre-employment screening;
    • any other additional information provided by you in the context of the recruitment and selection process (e.g. a completed health questionnaire, etc.) and 
    • the information you submit when making an online application (the online application service is provided to us by a 3rd party called Hallmark Solutions. Hallmark will hold information that you submit when clicking the ‘apply now’ button and NI Water will have access to it).
    • As part of the Source to Tap Project NI Water works in partnership with Irish Water, Rivers Trust, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, East Border Region Ltd., and land and farm owners/tenants in the Derg Catchment, to protect drinking water sources from diffuse pollution within priority areas. The Land Incentive Scheme (LIS) will provide financial assistance to land managers for selected measures to help protect drinking water sources and enables changes to be made which are over and above regulatory compliance. Personal information to be processed and shared to include (but not exclusive to) name, address, contact details, farm name, GPS farm coordinates, herd no., business no., VAT no., farm size, banking details, tenants name, land/farm photographs, etc.
    • In NI Water’s work with the Water Catchment Partnership and the farming industry to help reduce levels of the herbicide MCPA in the Glenhordial and Seagahan Reservoir catchment areas, by offering a free weed-wiping service via application and follow-up assessment.
    • NI Water's staff magazine Waterline includes some personal information and in addition to staff distribution has a limited external circulation to some of NIW's key stakeholders, including; MLAs, MEPs and MPs, Education and Library Boards, Health and Social Care Trusts, Chambers of Commerce, Borough, City and District Councils, Agencies, Associations, Charities, Colleges, Councils, Federations, Institutes, etc. This helps promote the essential nature of the work we do and, in particular to celebrate staff and Company achievements.
    • As a participant in the Cabinet Office National Fraud Initiative, NI Water lawfully shares personal information for the prevention and detection of fraud.
    • Secure, remote, real-time access to specific contractors’ vehicles GPS to allow NIW to track contractor’s personnel on site to assist NIW with measuring response times, maintaining and improving security at affected properties, operational/asset awareness to allow for quick identification of who is working on an affected site/property if alarms are triggered, confirmation of measurement labour costs and knowledge of staff locations to perform Quality Assurance checks.
      • A vehicle’s movements can be linked directly to a specific driver so as the data subject (the driver) can be identified from the data, or from a combination of that data and other information held by the data controller (NI Water), then this is considered personal information. As the contractor (data processor) is working to NI Water (the data controller) any personal information capture via vehicle-tracking would be considered for business rather than private use. 
      • At public information meetings and with the data subjects’ informed consent, names and contact details of attendees, for the purposes of keeping them updated on the project that affects them. The information is used solely for project information purposes and is destroyed securely at the end of the project.
      • For a number of major wastewater projects, where the work will be taking place in close proximity to existing houses/businesses, NI Water offer property owners the option to have pre and (if necessary) post construction surveys undertaken. With the lawful consent of the property owner, personal information will be processed, including the capture of property photographs to record existing defects, or the absence of same. This is to protect both NI Water and the property owner should any issues arise as a result of the works.
  • Collected personal information will be stored securely on our computer systems, digital voice recordings and, if applicable, in paper files. NI Water has notified its processing of personal information to and is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office (Z9774154).
  • Customer names, Mobile phone numbers and/or email addresses via customer returns from proactive mail drops and from online returns via NI Water’s “Keeping you Informed” Web form, to register for messages about NI Water services, ensure our records are accurate and up-to-date (in line with GDPR) and allow us to improve our service to you.
  • A member of staff's or Contractor or Supplier’s name, telephone extension, mobile telephone number and role to ensure that the highest levels of services to customers are maintained regardless of disruptions to the infrastructure or facilities i.e. business continuity arrangements and service recovery plans.

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Who we share your personal information with and why

NI Water uses a range of organisations and suppliers either to store personal information or to help us deliver our services to you. Where we have these arrangements, there is always a legal agreement in place to make sure the organisation or supplier complies with data protection legislation.

Who sees or has access to your personal information will depend on why we need to process it. For example:

  • Our Account Services team – for handling complaints and correspondence with customers, elected representatives, CCNI, the Utility Regulator and our Board and Executive Committee;
  • Our Legal team - for disputes, complaints and requests for information;
  • Our Capital Delivery team - for any works that may affect your property in any way;
  • Our Claims Unit - for handling claims for compensation;
  • Our Developer Services team - in relation to connections between your property and our networks;
  • Our Metering and Billing team – for working with our data processor, Echo Managed Services, to ensure accurate and timely non-domestic billing, including sole traders and non-limited partnerships;
  • Our Contacts team – for investigating, managing and responding to written billing contacts;
  • Carefully selected contractors and specialists - to help us provide you with our services;
  • Modelling consultants (Atkins, WSP, AECOM) who lawfully receive a copy of NI Water's Customer Care Register (CCR) to decide if extra precautions need to be taken during field-testing so as affected CCR customers are not interrupted;
  • Debt collection agencies – to enable us to pursue outstanding debt;
  • Solicitors or other legal advisers instructed by us to recover customer debt;
  • Courts;
  • Bill printers;
  • Payment information (bank account, sort code, Direct Debit mandates, etc.) are shared with banking institutions to process your payments;
  • Our Procurement teams – for dealing with tender processes and contract management
  • Councils and Environmental Health Depts. in relation to where NI Water has identified a failure attributable to the domestic distribution system or to the maintenance of that system e.g. lead exceedance;
  • NI Water's online recruitment provider Hallmark Solutions;
  • As part of the Source to Tap Project NI Water works in partnership with Irish Water, Rivers Trust, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, East Border Region Ltd., and land and farm owners/tenants in the Derg Catchment, to protect drinking water sources from diffuse pollution within priority areas. The Land Incentive Scheme (LIS) will provide financial assistance to land managers for selected measures to help protect drinking water sources and enables changes to be made which are over and above regulatory compliance. Personal information to be processed and shared to include (but not exclusive to) name, address, contact details, farm name, GPS farm coordinates, herd no., business no., VAT no., farm size, banking details, tenants name, land/farm photographs etc;
  • NI Water's staff magazine Waterline has a limited external circulation to some of NIW's key stakeholders, including; MLAs, MEPs and MPs, Education and Library Boards, Health and Social Care Trusts, Chambers of Commerce, Borough, City and District Councils, Agencies, Associations, Charities, Colleges, Councils, Federations, Institutes, etc. This helps promote the essential nature of the work we do and, in particular to celebrate staff and Company achievements; 
  • As a participant in the Cabinet Office National Fraud Initiative, NI Water lawfully shares personal information for the prevention and detection of fraud;
  • On declaration of a civil emergency personal information may be exchanged lawfully (The Civil Contingencies Act 2004) with other emergency responders e.g. PSNI, Fire & Rescue Service, NIE Networks, BT etc.
  • NI Water occasionally and lawfully share personal information including name, address and funding and financial information, with the Department of Economy in relation to the Norther Ireland Renewable Heat Incentive installations (NIRHI). This is to allow DfE to examine NI Water´s responses to issues raised and the possible impact on NIRHI participants of any action taken by NI Water with regard to their continued participation on the NIRHI Scheme.
  • As part of the Price Control 21 (PC21) consumer research that IPSOS Mori are conducting for NI Water, we need to lawfully provide them with some limited customer data, which in the case of Sole Traders and some Partnerships will constitute personal data e.g. customer name and telephone number.

To help manage our functions, our relationships and improve our services, we may also share or receive personal information from third parties associated with the above teams, such as any of the following:

  • Software providers for our IT systems;
  • Regulators, such as the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Drinking Water Inspectorate, CCNI, etc;
  • Law enforcement agencies, such as the PSNI;
  • Anyone who carries out work on our behalf, such as contractors doing repairs;
  • Other government agencies whose work sometimes aligns with NI Water’s functions, such as Environmental Health Services or Land and Property Services for fraud prevention or if the processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of an official authority vested in the controller.

Our lawful basis for processing personal data

We have a legal obligation under the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 to supply clean and safe drinking water, treat and safely dispose of domestic and commercial wastewater, promote water efficiency and charge by reference to a charging scheme.

GDPR states that a data controller (like NI Water) must have a lawful basis for processing your information. We have identified the lawful bases for which we process your information. These vary depending on how and why we have your data. These are:

  • Public task: if the processing is necessary for the performance of our public task as a water and sewerage undertaker (e.g. personal data captured regarding site/asset access as part of NI Water’s Security and Resilience responsibility including Abloy Site Access Management System, Assembly Questions and Minister Queries responded to which may as part of NI Water’s reply, capture staff names and quotes etc. or a member of staff's or Contractor or Supplier’s name, telephone extension, mobile telephone number and role to ensure that the highest levels of services to customers are maintained regardless of disruptions to the infrastructure or facilities i.e. business continuity arrangements and service recovery plans).
  • Consent: if you have given consent for us to process your personal information, for example:
    • if you want us to talk to someone else about your account;
    • to take and use a photograph/film of you; or
    • to compile, maintain and manage a Customer Care Register for customers with additional service needs;
    • Personal information in the staff magazine Waterline.
    • At public information meetings and with the data subjects’ informed consent, names and contact details of attendees, for the purposes of keeping them updated on the project that affects them. The information is used solely for project information purposes and is destroyed securely at the end of the project.
    • For a number of major wastewater projects, where the work will be taking place in close proximity to existing houses/businesses, NI Water offer property owners the option to have pre and (if necessary) post construction surveys undertaken. With the lawful consent of the property owner, personal information will be processed, including the capture of property photographs to record existing defects, or the absence of same. This is to protect both NI Water and the property owner should any issues arise as a result of the works.
    • Customer names, Mobile phone numbers and/or email addresses are lawfully collected via customer opt-in i.e. consent from responses to proactive mail drops and from online returns via NI Water’s “Keeping you Informed” Web form, to register for messages about NI Water services, ensure our records are accurate and up-to-date (in line with GDPR) and allow us to improve our service to you.
  • Contracts: where our processing is necessary for the performance of or to enable us to enter into a contract to which you are a party, for example:
    • for the processing of pre-development enquiries; or
    • for making changes to water mains supplies and sewers;
    • for recruitment purposes;
    • for measuring response times, maintaining and improving security at affected properties, operational/asset awareness, confirmation of measurement labour costs and quality assurance via secure, remote, real-time access to specific contractors’ vehicles GPS;
    • in completing a Land Incentive Scheme application as part of NI Water's partner status in Sourcetotap;
    • in completing an application for free weed-wiping in the Glenhordial and Seagahan Reservoir catchment areas, as part of NI Water's work with the Water Catchment Partnership and the farming industry to help reduce levels of the herbicide MCPA.
  • Legal obligations: if the processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation, for example;
    • where we need to process your data for us to comply with legislation or statutory obligations;
    • to comply with regulatory obligations imposed on NI Water by its regulators; e.g. Consumer Council for Northern Ireland (CCNI), the Utility Regulator, the Drinking Water Inspectorate, etc.,
    • to undertake checks for the prevention and detection of crime;
    • to respond to the exercise of rights under data protection law; or
    • as a participant in the Cabinet Office National Fraud Initiative, NI Water lawfully shares personal information for the prevention and detection of fraud;
    • it is recognised that a proportion of the rates collected by Land & Property Services (LPS) are attributed to the provision of water and sewerages services and NI Water lawfully share limited personal information with LPS for fraud prevention purposes;
    • on declaration of a civil emergency personal information may be exchanged lawfully (The Civil Contingencies Act 2004) with other emergency responders e.g. PSNI, Fire & Rescue Service, NIE Networks, BT etc; and
    • to protect colleagues and third parties under health and safety legislation.
  • Vital interests: we may need to process your personal information to protect your vital interests (e.g. because there is a risk to you and your household due to water quality issues or where the water supply has been disrupted) e.g. inclusion in NI Water's Customer Care Register as a customer with specific needs.

If we process any special category information (i.e. information revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinion, religious or philosophical belief, trade union membership, health data, or data concerning your sex life or sexual orientation), we must have a further lawful basis for the processing. These further legal bases include where:

  • you give us your explicit consent to process your special category information (e.g. if you are on our Customer Care Register);
  • the processing is necessary to protect your vital interests or someone else's vital interests;
  • you make the information public;
  • the processing is necessary for a legal claim (e.g. because you’ve made a public liability claim);
  • the processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest (e.g. where we suspect fraud on the part of a customer); or
  • the processing is necessary for reasons of public interests in the area of public health (e.g. to manage a water quality incident or contamination).

Protecting your personal information

We are committed to ensuring that your personal information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, NI Water has put in place appropriate technical, physical and organisational procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect about you.

Where is your personal information processed?

All NI Water sites are in Northern Ireland and all our staff work in Northern Ireland. Occasionally, we may use a contractor that normally operates elsewhere in the UK, the Republic of Ireland or further afield (e.g. the wider EU or the USA). We will not transfer or process data outside the European Economic Area (EEA), unless we have your specific consent or the nature of the processing requires it (for example, because you have chosen to use a service that routes data outside the EEA). All processors of personal information relating to EU citizens are required to comply with GDPR.

How we process your personal information

NI Water will process the personal information you provide in a manner that complies with current UK data protection legislation. NI Water will endeavour to:

  • keep your information accurate and up-to-date,
  • not keep it for longer than needed, and
  • keep it safe, only permitting access to those who need to use it.

Personal information that you supply to us may be used in a number of ways. For example, if you are a billed customer, we need to keep your name and address so we can send bills and other communications.

What to expect when you contact NI Water

  • Telephone: When you contact us by telephone, your telephone number will be added to your account so that we can contact you in future. If you are a billable customer, NI Water may use a telephone number listed on your account to contact you to discuss your account. We may also use a telephone number listed on your account to text you if there is a water supply interruption or a wastewater issue, work being conducted near your home, or water quality concern or for customer satisfaction surveying. You can opt out of future text messages at any time by contacting Waterline. We record all our calls from customers to help coach and train our staff and to improve the quality of the service we offer. Your telephone number is also stored on the call recording system to enable the retrieval of call recordings, alongside the date and time of the call.
  • Post: All post, including enclosures, received by NI Water is scanned electronically on to our systems. Where the post relates to an identifiable water account, we’ll store the letter and attachments on that account. The hard-copy post is either kept on file or destroyed. Post is stored and processed in a secure area of the building (or moved to off-site archives) and the retention of records is detailed in our Information Asset Registers.
  • Email: If you email us, we’ll respond to you using the email address you give us. We may add your email address to your account and use it for future communications, but only in line with the relevant lawful basis. Emails are stored, archived and deleted in line with our Information Asset Registers.
  • Contacting us via social media: We strongly advise not posting your personal contact or other sensitive information on a public social media site. If you contact us using social media to report an issue, we will ask you to private message us to gather suitable information. We will suggest an alternative contact method if we think this is more appropriate.
  • Making a complaint: If you make a complaint to us, we’ll follow our Complaints Procedure. We may need to share details about your complaint internally to investigate fully. If you escalate your complaint in accordance with the Complaints Procedure, we’ll share information with the appropriate body in order to address your concerns. This exchange of personal information is a legal requirement. We’ll only use the personal information we collect to process your complaint and to check on the level of service we provide. We will retain complaints records in line with the relevant Information Asset Register.
  • Recruitment: NI Water only uses the information you provide in connection with a job application and will not disclose your information or use it for any other purpose. All the information we collect is stored securely on a centralised database and in line with the relevant Information Asset Register.

How long we keep your personal information

We will not keep your personal information longer than is necessary. The law, business needs and our regulatory requirements determine the length of time information has to be kept. The various retention periods for your personal information (dependent upon record type) are detailed in the appropriate NI Water Information Asset Register. A copy of any Register can be requested from the Data Protection Officer, whose contact details are provided later in this notice.

CCTV

Our premises are monitored by Closed Circuit Television (CCTV), so your image may be captured if you enter the boundary of a NI Water site. Where CCTV is located on our premises but near a public space, it may also record these images. There are signs to show you when you are entering an area monitored by CCTV. CCTV images are stored in line with our Information Asset Register.

Our use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles ('UAVs' or Drones)

NI Water uses drones on our land, sites and assets for various reasons, including to monitor, maintain and/or enhance our land, assets and processes. The drones will be flown by Civil Aviation Authority-qualified pilots either employed directly by NI Water or third-party contractors. We aim to avoid flying drones directly overhead or within 50 metres of persons, vehicles, vessels or properties.

Surveys

Customer Surveys

We are committed to improving the service we provide to our customers. Essential to this is the need to understand, directly from our customers, how well we are currently doing. We use this information to create and monitor change. Gathering this feedback also provides us with an opportunity to connect with our customers and ‘put things right’ should they be less than happy with our service.

The Utility Regulator is responsible for monitoring NI Water’s standards of service and regulating charges. NI Water periodically undertakes customer surveys to help improve our services and customer satisfaction.

Customer data generated through these routes will only be used for the purpose of gaining a better understanding of the service we provide, how we can improve it and with the intention of helping customers during incidents if required. (This information is not used for any marketing activity).

Consumer Research

As part of the Price Control 21 (PC21) consumer research that IPSOS Mori are conducting for NI Water, we need to lawfully provide them with some limited customer data, which in the case of Sole Traders and some Partnerships will constitute personal data e.g. customer name and telephone number. NI Water’s lawful basis for processing is Article 6(1)(e) of the GDPR i.e. Public Task in the Public Interest.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

NI Water also use Interactive Voice Response (IVR) for customer surveys. This is a technology that allows NI Water to interact with our customers through the use of voice and Dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) signaling input via a telephone keypad. Such calls are recorded to allow NI Water to transcribe these into a data format and the recording and data is processed lawfully under GDPR Article 6(1)(e) – Public task in the public interest.

Text (SMS) Surveys

If you are currently receiving text (SMS) messages relating to a survey and no longer wish to do so, you can opt out or stop service improvement surveying at any time. Please let us know by contacting our Data Protection Officer, whose details are provided later in this Privacy Notice.

NI Water Draft Strategy (2021-2046) Public Engagement Survey

Any personal data, responses or views collected in relation to the above are held the strictest confidence on NI Water’s external supplier Being Communications Ltd’s secure servers.  Only authorised NI Water staff have access to the data. Responses to the closed public engagement questions (Yes, No, Don’t Know) will remain completely anonymous. However within the survey you also have the opportunity to answer free text open questions (the any comment option) and you are reminded that the mention of your name, contact details or address or specific experiences, or personal circumstances that are unique to you could inadvertently attribute a response to you, therefore identifying you.  Unless you are comfortable sharing detailed information about an experience, situation or personal circumstance at the risk of identifying yourself, we advise avoiding mentioning it / them in the written response given

Customers availing of the email address (ourstrategy[AT]niwater[DOT]com) to email engagement feedback (rather than use the webpage) should however note their personal email address will be lawfully processed, the lawful basis for processing being Article 6(1)(a) of the GDPR – consent.

Texts and SMS Messages

NI Water is committed to improving the service we provide to our customers. If something affecting you or your property occurs, you need to know about it as soon as possible and enjoy the peace of mind that you’ll be kept up-to-date about your services.

In our public service capacity, we can lawfully contact our customers (to whom we provide water and sewerage services), by text/SMS regarding improving customer service provision.

If you are currently receiving text messages from NI Water and no longer wish to do so, please select the opt out option within the message or contact our Data Protection Officer, whose details are provided later in this Privacy Notice.

Customer Care Register

NI Water provides essential services for all our customers throughout Northern Ireland.

We offer a range of free additional services if you are an older consumer, have a medical condition that necessitates a continuous water supply (e.g. kidney dialysis) or need extra help accessing our services for any other reason.

You need to ask to be added to our Customer Care Register to receive the priority service you or anyone in your household requires.

You can be removed from the Register if your circumstances change or if you would like to withdraw your consent for this purpose. You can do this at any time by contacting Waterline.

NI Water´s GDPR Policy

NI Water’s GDPR Policy is available on request from our Data Protection Officer.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We continually review and update this Privacy Notice to reflect changes in our services as well as to comply with changes in data protection legislation. We would therefore encourage you to review this Notice on a regular basis.

Your rights

  • If you are using your personal information on the basis of your consent, you can withdraw your consent to the use of your personal information at any time. Though, in some cases, we may not be able to comply. If this is the case, we will tell you and explain why.
  • Subject to some legal exceptions, you have the right to request a copy of the personal information NI Water holds about you. You have the right to ask for all the information NI Water holds about you and the services you receive from us. When we receive a request from you in writing, we usually must give you access to everything we’ve recorded about you (generally within one month of receiving your request). However, we can’t let you see:
    • any parts of your record that contain confidential information about other people;
    • data a professional thinks will cause serious harm to your or someone else’s physical or mental wellbeing; or
    • information that may stop us from preventing or detecting a crime.
  • This applies to personal information in both paper and electronic records. If you ask us, we’ll also let authorised third parties see your record (except if one of the points above applies).
  • NI Water has produced a Subject Access Request (SAR) form, which you can download, print and send to us, with identity verification, to request a copy of any personal information we retain about you.
  • You have the right to have any inaccuracies corrected. You should let us know if you disagree with something we hold about you. We may not always be able to change or remove that information, but, where we can, we’ll correct factual inaccuracies and will include your comments in the record to show that you disagree with it.
  • You have the right to have your personal information erased (otherwise known as the “right to be forgotten”). In some circumstances, you can ask for your personal information to be deleted; for example:
  • where it is no longer needed for the reason it was first collected;
  • where you have withdrawn your consent for us to process your information (and where there is no other lawful reason for us to continue processing it);
  • where there is no legal reason for the continued use of your information;
  • where deleting the information is a legal requirement;
  • Where your personal information has been shared with others, we’ll do what we can to make sure those using your personal information comply with your request for erasure.
  • Please note that we can’t delete your information where:
  • we’re required to have it by law;
  • it is used for freedom of expression;
  • it is used for public health purposes;
  • it is for scientific or historical research or statistical purposes, and deleting it would make information unusable; or
  • it is necessary for legal claims.
  • You have the right to place a restriction on our processing of your data. You have the right to ask us to restrict what we use your personal information for in certain circumstances, for example:
    • where you have identified inaccurate information and have told us of it; and
    • where we have no legal reason to use that information, but you want us to restrict what we use it for rather than erase the information altogether.
  • When information is restricted, it can’t be used other than to securely store the data and with your consent to handle legal claims and protect others or where it’s for important public interests of the UK.
  • Where restriction of use has been granted, we’ll inform you before we carry on using your personal information. Where possible, we’ll seek to comply with your request, but we may need to hold or use information because we are required to by law.
  • You have the right to object to processing in certain circumstances, meaning that we may not process that data (provided that there are no compelling legitimate grounds that override your objection or other exceptions apply); and
  • You have the right to request your data to be ported (otherwise known as the “right to data portability”), in certain circumstances. This allows you to obtain and reuse your personal information for your own purposes across different services. It allows you to move, copy or transfer your personal information easily from one computer system to another in a safe and secure way.

To learn more about all these rights, please see the ICO website.

Please be aware that there may be circumstances when we are unable to comply with your request to exercise your rights. If this is ever the case, we will inform you of the reason and provide details of how you can register a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office if you believe we have got this wrong.

Links to other websites

NI Water’s website may contain links to third-party websites. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of those other sites. When you leave our site, please be sure to read the privacy statements of each website that collects personal information about you. This Privacy Notice applies solely to information collected and processed by NI Water.

Cookies

NI Water automatically collects some information about your visit to our website. However, this does not record personally identifiable information. This is technical information about how your browser and the device you are using interacts with our website and does not reveal personal details, like your name, address, etc. Personal information does not include information where your identity has been removed or is unknown.

We group together the technical information we collect about all our website users and aggregate it for analysis to understand how users prefer to use our website and where we should make changes to make it work more efficiently for our customers.The sort of information recorded includes how many people visit our website, which pages and items are the most popular and about how you use and interact with our website.

Cookies are small text files that can be added to your computer by websites with the aim of making the site work, improving a user's experience and/or making their activity more efficient. Often, cookies are used to provide useful information to the owners of the website, such as how many people visit or the most popular pages and, occasionally, to track activity across the Internet.

NI Water’s website uses a session cookie (ASP.NET), Google Analytics cookies, and a cookie that stores cookie consent.

Disabling cookies

If you do not want us to use cookies in your browser, you can remove cookies from your computer's hard drive, or set your browser to block cookies or to send a warning notice before a cookie is stored on your computer. However, please note that you may not be able to use many of the services on our website or other websites without cookies. Unless you have adjusted your browser setting so that it will refuse cookies, our system will issue cookies when you visit our site.

You can find information on disabling cookies at www.allaboutcookies.org.

The rules regarding the use of internet cookies have changed due to amendments made to the E-Privacy Directive (2002/58/EC). The UK government implemented these changes by amending the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (SI 2426/2003) (PECR).

Where can I get advice or make a complaint?

We have a Data Protection Officer who makes sure we respect your rights and comply with the law. If you have any concerns or questions about how we look after your personal information, please contact our Data Protection Officer at the following address:

Data Protection Officer
Northern Ireland Water
IT Suite
Westland House
40 Old Westland Road
Belfast
BT14 6TE

Telephone: 028 9035 4813 (Ext. 20242)
Email: imu@niwater.com

If you are unhappy about how we process your personal information or with our response to any request you have made relating to it, you can complain to the Information Commissioner's Office at the address below.

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 (national rate)
Email: casework@ico.org.uk
Website: www.ico.org.uk

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