Personal Data Protection Principles

IT Sligo has established the following high level principles relating to Data Protection in order to comply with GDPR requirements.

  • Personal Data shall only be processed fairly, lawfully and in a transparent manner (Principles of Lawfulness, Fairness and Transparency);
  • Personal Data shall be obtained only for specified, explicit, lawful, and legitimate purposes, and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with those purposes (Principle of Purpose Limitation);
  • Personal Data shall be adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed (Principle of Data Minimisation);
  • Personal Data shall be accurate, and where necessary kept up to date (Principle of Accuracy);
  • Personal Data shall not be kept in a form which permits identification of a data subject for longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the Personal Data are processed (Principle of Data Storage Limitation);
  • Personal Data shall be processed in a secure manner, which includes having appropriate technical and organisational measures in place to:
  1. prevent and/or identify unauthorised or unlawful access to, or processing of, Personal Data; and
  2. prevent accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, Personal Data (Principles of Integrity and Confidentiality);

Outlined below (A-G) is a number of key terms and information on IT Sligo’s commitment to data protection and GDPR compliance.

A. Personal Data

Information which relates to a living individual who is identifiable either directly from the data itself or from the data in conjunction with other information held by IT Sligo.

Examples of personal data include, but are not limited to:

  • Name, email, address, home phone number
  • The contents of an individual student file or HR file
  • A staff appraisal assessment
  • Details about lecture attendance or course work marks
  • Examination scripts
  • Notes of personal supervision, including matters of behaviour and discipline.

B. Sensitive Personal Data

Sensitive Personal Data (or Special Categories of Personal Data) relates to specific categories of data which are defined as data relating to a person’s racial origin; political opinions or religious or other beliefs; physical or mental health; sexual life, criminal convictions or the alleged commission of an offence; trade union membership.

C. Processing Data

Any operation or set of operations which is performed on Personal Data or on sets of Personal Data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction. The terms ‘Process’ and ‘Processed’ should be construed accordingly.

D. Consent

Means any freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the Data Subject’s wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the Processing of Personal Data relating to him or her. In this context, “signifies” means that there must be some active communication between the parties. Thus, a mere non-response to a communication from the Institute cannot constitute Consent.

E. Personal Data Breach

GDPR defines a “personal data breach” in Article 4(12) as “a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data transmitted, stored or otherwise processed.”  Examples of personal data breaches include:

  • Loss or theft of data or equipment
  • Inappropriate access controls allowing unauthorised use
  • Equipment failure
  • Unauthorised disclosure (e.g. email sent to the incorrect recipient)
  • Human error
  • Hacking attack

The Data Protection Commissioner must be notified without undue delay and not later than 72 hours after becoming aware of the breach.  Accordingly any personal data breach must be notified to the Data Protection Officer at immediately it is discovered for assessment.

Please refer to the Data Protection Incident Response & Breach Notification Procedure for more information on data breaches.

F. Subject Access Requests and Data Subject Rights

The GDPR gives data subjects the right to access personal information held about them by the Institute. The purpose of a subject access request is to allow individuals to confirm the accuracy of personal data and check the lawfulness of processing to allow them to exercise rights of correction or objection if necessary. However, individuals can request to see any information IT Sligo holds about them which includes copies of email correspondence referring to them or opinions expressed about them.

Data subjects have a number of rights under GDPR. These include:

  • Right of Access;
  • Right to Rectification;
  • Right to Erasure (sometimes referred to as the Right to be Forgotten);
  • Right to Restriction of Processing;
  • Right to Data Portability;
  • Right to Object to Direct Marketing;
  • Right to Object to Automated Decision Making, including Profiling.

Any requests made to invoke any of the rights above must be dealt with promptly and in any case within one month or receiving the request. Members of staff should consult the Data Protection Officer for all data requests.

Please refer to the Data Subjects Rights Procedure and the Subject Access Request (SAR) Procedure for more information on Subject Access Requests and Data Subject Rights.

Data Retention

Personal data must only be kept for the length of time necessary to perform the processing for which it was collected. Once information is no longer needed it should be disposed of securely. Retention periods are set based on good practice guidance and on a legal basis.

Please refer to the Data Retention Policy for more information on data retention periods and disposal of data.