Licensing Services privacy notice

Data protection laws have changed. Please read our licensing privacy notice before you make comments on a licensing application, and take extra care with your personal information.

Who we are what we do

The council is a data controller under the data protection legislation as we collect and process personal information about you in order to provide licence and regulatory services and meet our statutory obligations.

This notice explains:

  • why we ask for your personal information
  • how that information will be used
  • how you can access your records

Why we need your information and how we use it

Our licensing department uses various kinds of information including personal data and occasionally special categories data (previously called sensitive personal data). This statement sets out the types of information that we collect and how we process it.

We receive requests for guidance and advice, and applications for various licence and permit types. We also carry out proactive enforcement activity and investigate allegations of breaches of licence conditions or regulations.

Our purpose in collecting and using data is to operate as a statutory body carrying out a public task. The most common things we use personal data for are:

  • helping us determine an application
  • publicising applications in various ways to seek comments and information
  • notifying other services and organisations of proposals to seek their views
  • investigating complaints or allegations
  • writing reports and making decisions

We use your personal data for the purposes of processing and determining licensing applications, licensing policy and investigating alleged breaches. In many cases there is a law that says we must or we can process your data and we can do so without your consent or permission.

In some instances (for example, when checking medical fitness reports or requesting details on criminal records), we will need to refer your data to a third party organisation. These third party organisations have to keep your details safe and secure, and use them only for this purpose.

We have a statutory obligation to provide these services in accordance with the following legislation and any relevant subsidiary legislation (as amended):

  • Licensing Act 2003
  • Gambling Act 2005
  • Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982
  • Scrap Metal Act 2013
  • Charities Act 2011
  • Police, Factories etc. (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1916
  • House to House Collections Act 1939
  • Highways Act 1980
  • Business and Planning Act 2020
  • Hypnotism Act 1952
  • Town Police Clauses Act 1857
  • Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976
  • Policing and Crime Act 2009
  • Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018
  • Zoo Licensing Act 1984
  • Dangerous Wild Animals 1976
  • any statutory instrument, regulations, legislation, or secondary legislation that supports or updates a licensing regime (for example Schedule 7 Transport Act 1985, Section 17 Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and Deregulation Act 2015)

What type of personal data is collected from you?

We collect the following personal data:

  • name
  • address
  • email
  • contact number
  • bank details
  • agent contact details (if applicable)
  • full address of the property or pitch location
  • next of kin details for street trading licence holders
  • registered assistant details for street trading licence holders
  • special categories data (previously called personal sensitive data)
  • information agreed to be confidential
  • unspent convictions (and for certain licensing requirements spent convictions where exemption applies under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974)

If you are submitting supporting information, which you would like to be treated confidentially or wish to be specifically withheld from the public register, please let us know as soon as you can – ideally in advance of submitting the application.

You can do this by letting us know during enquiries, the application process or by contacting

The council publishes licensing applications on its website, which includes the applicant or agent name and address. However, we will redact the personal data you have provided, namely addresses, signature, email addresses and telephone numbers, so these are not visible to the public and only to the council’s licensing department. Please note, agent details are not normally classed as personal data therefore will be visible to the public.

We charge for licensing applications and will record payment amounts made against a record, amounts outstanding and the action taken to recover monies owed.

For street trading licences we charge for applications and invoice for pitch charges. In order to invoice for pitch charges, we share your personal data with the council's revenues team. The information that is shared relates directly to licence holders addresses, pitch information and bank details.

Enforcement cases remain confidential and at no time will we divulge the details of complainants who have informed us of alleged licensing breaches.

Generally, the information we hold will have been provided by you (on an application or email correspondence or when we communicate with you), but we may also hold information provided by third parties where this is relevant, for example complainants and other council departments.

We will only ask for personal data that is appropriate to enable us to deliver our services. In some cases, you can refuse to provide your details if you deem a request to be inappropriate. However, you should note that this might affect our ability to provide some services to you.

Who your information may be shared with (internally and externally)

Where appropriate, we will need to share information with other departments in the council and to external bodies that we work alongside, where we have a lawful basis and legitimate purpose. Sharing information will be proportionate and in line with the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018.

We may share your information with:

  • Essex Police
  • internal council departments
  • the council's Licensing Committee
  • other local authorities
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
  • DVLA
  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • central government departments
  • insurance companies
  • other organisations (where the disclosure is necessary for the purposes of the prevention or detection of crime)

Please find further details below on how we deal with certain aspects of our service. We do not sell your information to other organisations.  We do not move your information beyond the UK. We do not use your information for automated decision making.


Comments include material considerations, which we take into account when determining licence applications. All comments provided by you are held on our system along with your contact information, if it has been provided.

In order to be transparent as a local authority, we normally publish the full text of the comments you have provided, and this full text is published on our public facing website.

We will provide your comments in the Licensing Sub-Committee reports published on our website and circulated to all interested parties prior to the hearing.

We will redact your name, address and email address, unless you wish to disclose these details for the benefit of the Sub-Committee. However, you should not provide any personal data or special categories (previously called sensitive personal data) about yourself in these comments which is capable of identifying you to anyone else. If you do so, you must be aware that these may be seen by the public at large. You should also not write anything defamatory about other individuals or provide their personal data without their consent.


We receive allegations of unlicensed premises and breach of conditions that we investigate and decide whether to act upon or not. Allegations are a useful way for us to learn about potential breaches of licence conditions and we treat the personal details of the persons who make the allegation in confidence. These personal details are not made public. 

Your rights

The data protection legislation allows you to find out what information is held about you, on paper and computer records. This is known as ‘right of subject access’ and applies to your licensing data along with all other personal records. If you wish to see a copy of your records, you should contact the council’s data protection team at

Please see the council’s main privacy notice for more information about this and other rights of access under the GDPR.

How long we keep your personal information

As a matter of principal, all personal information will be held securely and will only be retained electronically for as long as is necessary for the purpose for which it was provided.  Where it is no longer necessary to hold your information, it will be securely destroyed. More detailed information on the council's retention periods can be found on the council’s records retention policy, which you can find on our main privacy notice page.

Your rights with respect to your personal data can also be found on our main privacy notice page.

How to contact us

If you want to request information about our privacy policy, please contact us by email
Alternatively you can write to us at:

Harlow Council Legal Services
Civic Centre
The Water Gardens 
CM20 1WG 

For more information on how the council collects, uses and protects personal information generally, details of the council’s Data Protection officer (DPO) and the council’s role as a data controller, complaints and queries, as well as your rights as a data subject, please see the council's main privacy notice.

Changes to this privacy notice

We keep our privacy notice under regular review. This privacy notice was last updated in May 2023.