Privacy Notice


  1. The purpose of this Privacy Notice is to protect the rights and privacy of living individuals and to ensure that personal data is not processed by Surelock without the person’s knowledge or consent, unless otherwise permitted. The Privacy Notice also sets out individuals’ rights under the data protection legislation.
  2. This document sets out the Data Protection Policy for Surelock and should be read in conjunction with Surelock record of processing activities annexed hereto.
  3. Surelock complies with the requirements of the prevailing data protection legislation with regard to the collection, storage, processing and disclosure of personal information and is committed to upholding the core data protection principles.
  4. Surelock is committed to a policy of protecting the rights and privacy of individuals (including staff, course delegates, trainees and trainers, clients, subjects of investigations and others) in accordance with the data protection legislation.
  5. Surelock needs to process certain information about its staff, trainees and trainers, sub-contractors and other individuals it has dealings with such as clients, and to comply with legal obligations and government requirements.
  6. During the course of its core business activities Surelock will be instructed to process the personal data of individuals who are identified in clients’ instructions or during the course of the investigation undertaken pursuant to such instructions. Surelock will not process any personal data without first having established the lawful basis on which to process personal data, which when necessary will be recorded in a Data Privacy Impact Assessment.
  7. To comply with the law, information processed about individuals must be kept to the minimum, collected and used fairly, be accurate, used solely for the purpose intended, stored safely, securely including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing, loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical measures such as encryption or in password protected devices, retained for no longer than necessary and not disclosed to any third party unlawfully.
  8. The policy applies to all Data Subjects. In the event of a breach of the data protection legislation or this Privacy Notice by a member of staff, Surelock employment disciplinary procedures will apply otherwise it will constitute a breach of contract.
  9. As a matter of good practice, other agencies and individuals working with and thus affiliated to Surelock and who have access to personal information, will be expected to have read and comply with this Privacy Notice, the terms of which form part of the consultancy/agency agreement between Surelock and that affiliate.
  10. It is expected that departments who deal with external agencies will take responsibility for ensuring that such agencies contract to abide by this policy.
  11. Surelock is the Controller under the data protection legislation, when dealing with its core business activity as an Investigative, Risk Management & Litigation Support Service Provider. However, in certain circumstances Surelock will be Joint Controller with the instructing client.  There may be instances when acting under strict instructions, which also cover the purpose (the why) and means (the how) for the processing of all the personal data in the client provided case scenario, that Surelock will be the Processor.
  12. Surelock is the Controller under the data protection legislation, when dealing with data of staff, clients, contractors, trainees and any other member or affiliate of Surelock
  13. The Senior Management and Heads of Departments and all those in managerial or supervisory roles are responsible for developing and encouraging good information handling practice within Surelock
  14. Compliance with data protection legislation is the responsibility of all members and affiliates of Surelock who process personal information.
  15. Each member of staff, clients, contractors, trainees and any other member or affiliate of Surelock is responsible for ensuring that any personal data supplied to or handled by Surelock is accurate and up-to-date.
  16. Data Subjects have the following rights regarding data processing and the data that are recorded about them:
  • To make subject access requests regarding the nature of information held and to whom it has been disclosed.
  • To prevent processing likely to cause damage or distress.
  • To prevent processing for purposes of direct marketing.
  • To be informed about mechanics of automated decision taking process that will significantly affect them.
  • Not to have significant decisions that will affect them taken solely by automated process.
  • To sue for compensation if they suffer damage by any contravention of the prevailing data protection legislation.
  • To take action to rectify, block, erase or destroy inaccurate data.
  • To request the Information Commissioner to assess whether any provision of the prevailing data protection legislation has been contravened.
  1. For criminal data, explicit written consent of the Data Subject must be obtained unless an alternative lawful basis for processing exists and Surelock has ensured that it has an additional condition for processing this type of data, under Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 2018, for example, to safeguard vulnerable individuals or children, assess people’s suitability for employment, or assess whether a person can access services such as housing or insurance.
  2. Surelock will not keep any comprehensive register of criminal convictions.
  3. For special category data processing is prohibited, unless the Data Subject has given explicit consent or one of the permitted conditions set out in the data protection legislation are met.
  4. Surelock understands “consent” to mean that the Data Subject has been fully informed of the intended processing and has signified their agreement, whilst being in a fit state of mind to do so and without pressure being exerted upon them. Consent obtained under duress or on the basis of misleading information will not be a valid basis for processing.
  5. There must be some active communication between the parties such as signing a form and the individual must sign the form freely of their own accord. Consent cannot be inferred from no response to a communication.
  6. In most instances consent to process personal, special category or criminal data is obtained routinely by Surelock (e.g. when a member of staff or consultant signs a Service or Consultancy Agreement).
  7. Any Surelock forms (whether paper-based or electronic-based), that gather data on an individual should contain a statement explaining what the information is to be used for and to whom it may be disclosed. It is particularly important to obtain specific consent if an individual’s data is to be published on the Internet as such data can be accessed from all over the globe.
  8. If an individual does not consent to certain types of processing, appropriate action must be taken to ensure that the processing does not take place, unless an exemption applies. 
  10. If any member or affiliate of Surelock is in any doubt about these matters, they should consult a director or senior manager.
  11. All staff and affiliates of Surelock are responsible for ensuring that any personal data (on others), which they hold are kept securely and that they are not disclosed to any unauthorised third party.
  12. All personal data should be accessible only to those who need to use it. Those concerned should form a judgement based upon the sensitivity and value of the information in question, but always consider keeping personal data:
  • In a lockable room with controlled access, or
  • In a locked drawer or filing cabinet, or
  • If electronic, password protected, or
  • Kept on disks which are themselves kept securely.
  1. Care should be taken to ensure that PCs and terminals are not visible except to authorised staff and that computer passwords are kept confidential. PC screens should not be left unattended without password protected screen-savers and manual records should not be left where they can be accessed by unauthorised persons.
  2. Care must be taken to ensure that appropriate security measures are in place for the deletion or disposal of personal data. Manual records should be shredded or disposed of as “confidential waste”.  Hard drives of redundant PCs should be wiped clean before disposal.
  3. This Privacy Notice also applies to staff and affiliates of Surelock who process personal data “off-site”. Off-site processing presents a potentially greater risk of loss, theft or damage to personal data.  Staff and affiliates of Surelock should take particular care when processing data at home or in other locations outside the offices of Surelock or its affiliated locations.
  4. Members of Surelock and / or other Data Subjects have the right to access any personal data which are held by Surelock in electronic format and manual records which form part of relevant filing system held by Surelock about that person.
  5. Any individual who wishes to exercise this right should apply in writing to a director or senior management. Surelock will make no charge for data subject access requests.  Any such request will normally be complied with within 30 days of the receipt of the written request supported by proof of identity and address.
  6. Surelock must ensure that personal data are not disclosed to unauthorised third parties which includes family members, friends, government bodies, and in certain circumstances, the Police, unless authorised under the terms of the prevailing data protection legislation or other statute or Court Order or where disclosure of data is required for the performance of Surelock contractual duty or otherwise exempt. All staff and affiliates should exercise caution when asked to disclose personal data held on another individual to a third party.
  7. The prevailing data protection legislation permits certain disclosures without consent to a Competent Authority, such as law enforcement agencies.
  8. Surelock undertake their services in accordance with the data protection good practice policies and guides published by the Association of British Investigators.
  9. For reasons of personal security and to protect Surelock premises and the property of staff, trainees and other visitors, close circuit television cameras may be in operation in several areas. The presence of these cameras may not be obvious.  This Privacy Notice determines that personal data obtained during monitoring will be processed as follows:
  • Any monitoring will be carried out only by a limited number of specified senior managers;
  • The recordings will be accessed only by a director or an appointed senior manager:
  • Personal data obtained during monitoring will be destroyed as soon as possible after any investigation is complete;
  • Staff involved in monitoring will maintain confidentiality in respect of personal data.

Glossary of Terms

Personal Data
Data relating to a living individual who can be identified from that information or from that data and other information in possession of the Controller, includes name, address, telephone number, identity number.  Also includes expression of opinion about the individual, and of the intentions of the Controller in respect of that individual.

Special category or criminal data
Different from ordinary personal data (such as name, address, telephone) and relates to racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, trade union membership, health, sex life, criminal convictions.  Special category or criminal data are subject to much stricter conditions of processing.

Data Subject
Refers to any individual person who can be identified, directly or indirectly, via an identifier such as a name, an ID number, location data, or via factors specific to the person’s physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural, or social identity.

Controller or Joint Controller
Means the natural or legal person, agency, or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data.  Put simply, the Controller determines what information is needed and why.

Is a person or organization who deals with personal data as instructed by a Controller for specific purposes and services offered to the Controller that involve personal data processing.  The service provider could act on instructions both as to the purpose and manner of the processing to maintain the Processor status.  However, such is the nature of the work and methodologies, that a service provider, who is very often the professional party in processing personal data, (in the relationship with the client), will determine what information is needed and why, activities which will determine the service provider’s role is that of Controller or possibly Joint Controller with the client.

Third Party
Any individual/organisation other than the Data Subject, the Controller, Joint Controller, Processor, or the  agents/sub-contractors appointed by any of them when permitted by the Controller or the client.

Any operation related to organisation, retrieval, disclosure and deletion of data and includes: Obtaining and recording data.  Accessing, altering, adding to, merging, deleting data. Retrieval, consultation or use of data. Disclosure or otherwise making available of data.

Relevant Filing System
Any paper filing system or other manual filing system, which is structured so that information about an individual is readily accessible.  Please note that this is the definition of “Relevant Filing System”.  Personal data as defined, and covered, by the prevailing data protection legislation can be held in any format, electronic (including websites and emails), paper-based, photographic etc. from which the individual’s information can be readily extracted.

Investigative Service Provider (‘Professional Investigation’)
The Private Security Industry Act 2001 defines investigations as:
…. to any surveillance, inquiries or investigations that are carried out for the purpose of:
obtaining information about a particular person or about the activities or whereabouts of a particular person; or
obtaining information about the circumstances in which or means by which property has been lost or damaged

Litigation Support Services
An investigation agency client portfolio will inevitably include members of the legal profession and thus potentially forms part of the judicial process.  Lawyers rely on outsourced investigative services for a number of reasons; primarily as part of their own case handling for lay, professional or commercial clients in contentious scenarios in contemplation of, or part of on-going legal proceedings.  This work is referred to within the judicial system as “Litigation Support” and often includes activities that process personal data.

Privacy, in its broadest sense, is about the right of an individual to be left alone.  It can take two main forms, and these can be subject to different types of intrusion: Physical privacy – interference such as surveillance and the taking of biometric information, and Informational privacy – the ability of a person to control, edit, manage, and delete information about themselves and to decide how and to what extent such information is communicated to others.

Data protection law
The UK General Data Protection Regulation as applied in the UK and The Data Protection Act 2018.

Data Protection Principles

All processing of personal data must be done in accordance with the six data protection principles, which collectively demonstrates Surelock accountability.

  1. Personal data shall be processed fairly, lawfully and transparently.
    Data processing will not be lawful unless it satisfies at least one of the following processing conditions:
  • Consent – The Data Subject has provided valid consent for the processing.
  • Contract – The processing is necessary for the performance of a contract.
  • Legal obligation – The processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the Controller is subject.
  • Legitimate interest – The processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the Controller, the client or Surelock except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights of the Data Subject. Fraud prevention, cybersecurity and direct marketing are examples of the type of activities that might constitute legitimate interests.
  • Vital interest – The processing is necessary to protect the Data Subject’s vital interests, such as in a medical emergency.
  • Public interest – Processing is necessary for a task carried out in the public interest.
  1. Purpose limitation – Data processing must relate to a specific, explicit and legitimate purpose. Data must not be processed in a manner that is incompatible with the stated purpose/s. Generic purpose statements will not be compatible with the data protection legislation.
  2. Data minimisation – Data collected must be limited to what is necessary. It must be adequate, relevant and not excessive, having regard to the stated purpose for which data is being processed.
  3. Accuracy – Data must be kept accurate and up to date. Controllers must be able to correct personal data ‘without undue delay’.
  4. Storage limitation – Data should not be kept for any longer than is necessary. Data retention policies should establish time limits for erasure, although it is permissible to retain data for longer periods for archive or statistical purposes only.
  5. Integrity and confidentiality – Personal data must be processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing, loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.