Call recording privacy notice

This privacy notice explains how we use recordings of phone calls.  When a call is recorded we collect:

  • a recording of the conversation
  • your phone number

When you make a payment over the telephone, the recording function is switched off, therefore no payment information is recorded.

Why we collect your personal information

Harlow Council currently records phone calls in the following areas:

  • Contact Harlow
  • Revenues and Benefits
  • Home Ownership
  • Housing Management
  • Housing Operations
  • Housing Options and Advice
  • Supported Housing

Call recordings may be used:

  • to assist in quality monitoring of staff
  • to investigate and resolve complaints
  • for the detection, investigate and prevention of crime (including fraud)

The council also has a duty of care to its employees and will not tolerate unreasonable behaviour, the council therefore may use recordings as part of investigations into staff safety issues. 

The consequence of you failing to provide your personal information is that we may not be able to comply with our statutory duties or provide necessary services.

Recording of calls is necessary to protect the interests of you, our staff or both.

It's also in our legitimate interests, unless those interests are overridden by you by asking for your call not to be recorded.

You may request that your call isn't recorded. In this situation, you may be advised to contact us by email. In exceptional circumstances, for example when we determine that continuing to record could cause harm or distress to the caller, you may be transferred to a non-recorded phone.

If a call is transferred to a council department not listed above the call recording function will stop.

Who we will share your personal information with

Sometimes we need to share personal information we hold about you with other organisations or agencies that we work with or who help us deliver our services to you. We may also share your personal information where we have a legal obligation to do so. As an example, we may share your information in order to find and stop crime and fraud. If we are sharing your information for any purpose we will ensure that a valid data sharing agreement is in place with the data processor.

Where the information is of a sensitive nature, for example about your health, we will generally obtain consent from you prior to sharing this information, unless we are required, or permitted, to share this by law.

Further information on how we process your information can be found on our privacy notice page

How long we keep your personal information

All telephone recordings will be held securely and recordings will only be retained for

  • 40 days for Contact Harlow
  • 30 days for all other services

A recordings may be held for longer if it forms part of evidence in an ongoing investigation, in which case you will be informed that the information will remain with the council until it is no longer needed for this purpose.

Where we do not need to continue to hold your information it will be securely destroyed by our telephony provider.