Privacy notice – Social media


Social media is a communications channel used by our service teams.

This privacy notice tells you how we process your information in our use of social media via multiple social media platforms (eg Facebook and Twitter) and our social media management tool (Hootsuite), the reasons for doing so, and also what rights you have in connection with the information we hold about you.

East Sussex County Council takes data protection seriously. Please be assured that your information will be used appropriately in line with data protection legislation, will be stored securely and will not be processed unless the requirements for fair and lawful processing can be met.

What information is being used?

In order to provide the service and respond to customer queries, we sometimes need to collect personally identifiable information (PII):

  • In general we avoid collecting PII, except where we need to follow up with your request, and also to identify the right service for you geographically.
  • Where we collect PII, we try to limit the data being processed to the minimum required to fulfil the purpose.
  • Where appropriate we collect the following PII from you: name, email address, home postal address, telephone number, photograph, gender, date of birth, marital status, social media handle or username, personal correspondence.
  • When we place adverts to invite you to receive more information about one of our council services (know as lead generation) we collect your email address.

How will your information be used?

We hold your information so that we can provide services that you require and get back to you.

If you have provided your personally identifiable information to us via native social media, our staff have access to that information via the corporate social media management tool (called HootSuite). Sometimes this information will get copied into email in order to refer it on to the right team.

We aim to maintain high standards, adopt best practice for our record keeping and regularly check and report on how we are doing. Your information is never sold for direct marketing purposes.

Our staff are trained to handle your information correctly and protect your confidentiality and privacy.

Your information is processed outside of the European Economic Area.

Social media platforms and the social media management tool, HootSuite, are based outside of the EEA. Please refer to their relevant privacy notices:

How long will your information be kept for?

The native social media platforms where you have chosen to share your data with us, each have their own retention policies.

Our staff access to the information via our social media management tool (called HootSuite). In general Hootsuite does not permanently store content from social networks. Rather, it retrieves data from social networks in real time so that our staff can view it. Messages sent to us via social media are stored in Hootsuite for 6 weeks (this may be subject to change according to Hootsuite’s current retention period).

Sharing your information

Your request and the advice provided may be disclosed if a Freedom of Information or a similar request is made unless the request specified a valid reason for it to remain confidential.

Any sharing of personal data is always done:

  • on case-by-case basis
  • using the minimum personal data necessary
  • with the appropriate security controls in place
  • in line with legislation.

Information is only shared with those agencies and bodies who have a "need to know" or where you have consented to the sharing of your personal data to such persons.

We may use the information we hold about you to assist in the detection and prevention of crime or fraud. We may also share this information with other bodies that inspect and manage public funds.

Use of third party organisations

East Sussex County Council may share your information with trusted external organisations to process your data on our behalf.

Where necessary, a copy of your query, including your personally identifiable information, is referred on and distributed internally to the appropriate team within East Sussex County Council and our partners.

In order to respond to a query relating to roads, a copy including any personally identifiable information, may get shared with our partners who manage Highways on behalf of East Sussex County Council.

Any organisation commissioned by the Council will be under contractual obligation to comply with data protection legislation.

Your rights

Under data protection legislation, you have the right:

  • to be informed why, where and how we use your information
  • to ask for access to your information
  • to ask for your information to be corrected if it is inaccurate or incomplete
  • to ask for your information to be deleted or removed where there is no need for us to continue processing it
  • to ask us to restrict the use of your information
  • to ask us to copy or transfer your information from one IT system to another in a safe and secure way, without impacting the quality of the information
  • to object to how your information is used
  • to challenge any decisions made without human intervention (automated decision making)

Please visit data subject rights for further details.

How to find out more or complain

Should you have any further queries on the uses of your information, please speak directly to our service:

Email: Web team

Web team
East Sussex County Council
County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent
East Sussex

To complain about the use of your information, please contact our Customer Services Team or our Data Protection Officer.

Further information on making a complaint.

You can also contact the ICO for further information or to make a complaint:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Cheshire SK9 5AF

Phone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number.

Email ICO

Report a concern on the ICO website