The NHP ( National Helpline Project) takes caller confidentiality very seriously
and we aim to create a trusting relationship between helpline users and
National LGBT Helpline Confidentiality policy
The LGBT Helpline takes caller confidentiality very seriously and we aim to create a trusting relationship between helpline users and helpline volunteers. Callers' personal details are never collected or shared with third parties unless consent has been given, and only on a 'need to know' basis. Exceptions to this are detailed below and are made only where there is a potential risk to the caller or others and/or where required by law.
LGBT Helpline volunteers will not discuss details of specific calls with any third party, however for publicity or reporting purposes we may refer to general themes relating to calls, such as domestic violence. Callers to the helpline are free to speak to volunteers anonymously or using a pseudonym if they wish.
The LGBT Helpline telephone system does not display the caller's telephone number to volunteers. We do not pass on caller details unless this has been agreed with the caller. Again, exceptions to this are detailed below and are made only where there is a potential risk to the caller or others and/or where required by law. Voicemail messages or emails for specific members of staff or volunteers will be forwarded to the relevant person. Clear consent is not sought in these cases but is automatically presumed due to the nature of the enquiry. Email correspondence is kept securely and will be forwarded only where necessary. For example, a fundraising query will be forwarded to the Fundraising team.
Our telephone system produces call data about the calls we receive. Statistical information relating to calls is collected for managerial and supervisory purposes only and may be shared widely. However, this data is collated anonymously. No information that might in any way identify a caller or callers will ever be published without explicit consent.
If a caller makes a complaint the caller’s personal details will be kept long enough to ensure the complaint is dealt with and to ensure the safety and welfare of callers and volunteers. All complaints will be passed to the local coordinator for investigation. Should the complaint be about the local coordinator then it will be dealt with by the LGBT Helpline Management Team.
All data is managed within the terms of the Data Protection Acts, 1988 & 2003.
Confidential caller information exceptions:
· If a caller is perceived as presenting a serious and immediate risk to others.
· If a call seems to indicate abuse of any kind to children.
· If a call indicates possible terrorist action.
· If we have informed consent from the caller to pass on information If a caller appears to be incapable of making rational decisions for him or herself and is potentially at risk
· If we receive a court order requiring us to divulge information
· If we are passed information about acts of terrorism or bomb warnings
· If a caller attacks or threatens volunteers
· If a caller deliberately prevents the service from being delivered to other callers
· If the information is already in the public domain
The LGBT Helpline does not record telephone calls. Occasionally, and only for the purpose of training or monitoring and evaluating our service, a member of the LGBT Helpline management team may “listen in” to the call by using an additional earpiece. The purpose of this is to ensure that we are providing a quality service to our callers.
· The IP address of the visitor’s web server
· The top-level domain name used (for example.i.e., .com, .org, .net)
· The previous website address from which the visitor reached us, including any search terms used
· Clickstream data which shows the traffic of visitors around this web site (for example pages accessed and documents downloaded)
· The type of web browser used by the website visitor.
The LGBT Helpline will make no attempt to identify individual visitors, or to associate the technical details listed above with any individual. It is the policy of the LGBT Helpline never to disclose such technical information in respect of individual website visitors to any third party (apart from our internet service provider, which records such data on our behalf and which is bound by confidentiality provisions in this regard), unless obliged to disclose such information by a rule of law. The technical information will be used only by the LGBT Helpline, and only for statistical and other administrative purposes. Technical details which cannot be associated with any identifiable individual do not constitute "personal data" for the purposes of the Data Protection Acts, 1988 & 2003.
The LGBT Helpline adheres to the following eight principles of data protection:
- Obtain and process information fairly
- Keep it only for specified and lawful purposes
- Process it only in ways compatible with the purposes for which it was given to us initially
- Keep it safe and secure
- Keep it accurate and up to date
- Ensure it is adequate, relevant and not excessive
- Retain it no longer than it is necessary
- Give a copy of his/her personal data to any individual, on request
Glossry of terms used
web browser - The piece of software you use to read web pages. Examples are Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator and Opera.
IP address - The identifying details for your computer (or your internet company’s computer), expressed in "internet protocol" code (for example 192.168.72.34). Every computer connected to the web has a unique IP address, although the address may not be the same every time a connection is made.
cookies - Small pieces of information, stored in simple text files, placed on your computer by a web site. Cookies can be read by the web site on your subsequent visits. The information stored in a cookie may relate to your browsing habits on the web page, or a unique identification number so that the web site can "remember" you on your return visit. Generally speaking, cookies do not contain personal information from which you can be identified, unless you have furnished such information to the web site.