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Ask us about privacy Charles Mabbett
3 August 2016

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Do you have a privacy predicament or do you simply want to know more about privacy and the law? Last year, our office took over 8,000 enquiries from the public through our 0800 phone line and via email. We also received nearly 300 media enquiries on a wide range of topics including data breaches, the Harmful Digital Communications Act, drones and public registers.

There’s now a new way to answer your privacy questions. We’ve created AskUs, an online knowledge base to help individuals, agencies and businesses find out more about their privacy rights and obligations. It’s similar to using a search engine, but this one is designed to answer questions you may have about privacy issues and how they might affect you.

We designed AskUs with an all-round view of who might find it useful. It will be able to assist everyone from individuals to small business owners to those working within government agencies who need privacy information in a timely way.

AskUs includes answers to many of the questions we are most frequently asked, including:

  • What should I do if there has been a data breach?
  • Can I record someone without telling them?
  • What do I need to do if I am planning to install CCTV?
  • Can I ask an organisation for information it might have about me?

Find out what you need to know so you can get on with what you need to do – whether that’s installing CCTV, checking out a job applicant or finding out what your credit report says.

We also want you to help us make AskUs better. If you don’t get a useful answer, please tell us using the built-in feedback function. This information enables us to continue to review and refine the performance of AskUs. If you or others come to us at a later date with the similar question, it will hopefully give an answer that gets to the nub of your privacy issue.

The technology behind AskUs is available for other government agencies to adopt and adapt for their own use. Developed and built by SilverStripe, the new AskUs knowledge base is powered by a combination of the SilverStripe content management system and the Solr search engine, and is hosted on the all-of-government Common Web Platform.

We believe this is a pioneering model for other public sector agencies. It helps people help themselves to information that is relevant to them without having them join a phone queue for someone at a call centre to talk to them.

You can find AskUs here.

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