What Kind of Personal Information Do We Hold?
Zetetech Forensic Investigators are appointed to gather information about incidents and accidents that have occurred and to determine, where possible, their cause.
To be able to do this we need to have information from witnesses and other people who might have been involved in some way or have particular knowledge relating to the incident. The personal information we collect will depend on what is relevant to a particular case, however what is relevant may not be immediately apparent. We will almost always need name, address and contact details (telephone, email, home or work address). We will often also ask for date of birth to assist in identification. We will record gender usually only by title (Mr, Mrs, Ms etc), identifying phrases such as “the son of ” or marital status. We may ask, when relevant for details of family members or others who share the same address. We may record information about work history, employment status, skills and particular abilities or disabilities, any criminal record, ethnic origin or religious affiliations or other personal details where we think that they may be relevant.
In addition to verbal information we take photographs to record the scene of an incident and property which is insured. Such photographs may include normally private areas such as offices, bedrooms and bathrooms. We may also request that you provide us various documents your authority to request documents about you held by third parties.
If you are a legal or insurance professional or are involved in claims handling and claims investigation, we may hold personal data related to your professional activities.
Where Do We Get This Information?
From you! If you are our “Principal’s Insured” – the policy holder we are usually also provided basic background information by your insurers and occasionally information you provided to your insurer before your insurance policy was in force or details of particular clauses that apply to your insurance policy.
If you are not our Principal’s Insured, will usually get information in the first instance from you, in conversation during which we usually take notes, or sometimes in a more formal interview to prepare a statement.
In addition to information you provide we may make enquiries with other people and may attempt to verify information you have provided. We may do so by using various internet resources and search engines which include social media websites, news reports and similar.
What Do We Use This Information For?
Our objective is to understand the background and circumstances that culminated in the event under investigation. We provide the information we collect to our Principal. If they are your Insurers they use this help decide a) if the incident under investigation is covered by the policy which is in place, and b) if so whether there the possibility exists for them to recover their costs by claiming against a third party.
In all investigations information is collected and maintained with the intention that, if necessary, it can be used in criminal or civil proceedings arising from the incident under investigation. If you are involved in the Insurance, claims handling, claims investigation or the legal profession, and you consent to us doing so, we may use your data for business and marketing purposes.
We do not use any personal information we hold from an investigation for any purpose other than in relation to the investigation of the incident which is the subject of that particular instruction and other connected incidents. We do not use any automated decision making processes.
What Is The “LEGAL BASIS” For Collecting this Information?
Our appointment by Insurers, who may hold or share financially liability for an incident under investigation, means that we have a legitimate interest in collecting and processing information which might be relevant to that incident.
Who Do We Share Information With?
We do not share information we collect except:
- Our Principals – the people who instructed us, that is (usually) the insurance company we are investigating the incident for.
- Their agents – typically the loss adjuster who is handling the claim for the insurance company.
- Their appointed legal advisors – that is any solicitors, barristers or other legal professionals appointed to act on behalf of the insurance company in relation to the incident under investigation.
- Other interested parties – there can be circumstances where several insurers are affected. In such cases, and only when it is appropriate to do so, information may be shared between some or all of the parties involved to ensure that information about an incident is complete, accurate and consistent.
Data Storage and Security
All electronic data stored on computers or external hard drive systems is encrypted and stored securely. We also store data in industry accepted “cloud” based storage systems, using secure password protection.
Paper files and physical items of evidence are stored and archived securely.
How Long Do We Hold Data
We hold data for at least as long as it is possible for someone to raise legal proceedings in relation to an incident, or as long as any legal proceedings or appeals are in progress. However, data may be held indefinitely if there is the possibility that a person’s involvement in one incident may also be relevant in another.
What Are Your Rights Under Data Protection Laws?
You may have the right to know what data we hold about you, what we do with it and to receive a copy of it. If you request this data we may charge you for the administration required in collating and providing it to you, so far as we are permitted under current regulations.
We understand that you have a right to object to us processing data about you, only if it causes “unwarranted and substantial damage or distress”. If our processing of your data does so, you have the right to request us to stop – or not to begin – processing the data.
Otherwise, it is in our interests as well as yours to ensure that the data we hold is accurate and up to date. We will assist you so far as we are required and legally permitted to do so, without infringing the rights of other individuals.
We will therefore consider each request on its merits. You may be entitled to know what “personal data” we hold, but there are exceptions and your data may also identify other individuals. Therefore, to respond to some requests we may need to seek advice from our instructing Principal and their legal advisors and from our own legal advisors.
Our address for all correspondence is:
Zetetech Forensic Investigators,
70 West Regent Street,