Why do we have a privacy policy?

Firstly, we are under a legal obligation to let you know what personal information we collect about you, what we use it for and on what basis. We always need a good reason and we also have to explain to you your rights in relation to that information. You have the right to know what information we hold about you and to have a copy of it, and you can ask us to change or sometimes delete it. 

The reasons we collect information are set out in this privacy policy, but we are not telling you all this just because we have to.  Some of what we do – be it contacting you as a representative of a communications provider or installing a connection to your home under an order made directly with us – involves the use of personal information. And we believe that it is very important for our customers to trust us with that information. We want you to be confident that we will keep it secure and use it both lawfully and ethically, respecting your privacy. 

Our support for the right to privacy, as part of our broader commitment to human rights, is stated in our human rights policy. And our privacy policy explains in detail how we use your personal information. It describes what we do (or what we may do) from the moment you ask for a service from us, when we may use your information for credit-checking purposes, through to providing and billing for that service. 

But whatever we do with your information, we need a legal basis for doing it. We generally rely on one of three grounds (reasons) for our business processing. Firstly, if you have ordered or take a service from us, we are entitled to process your information so we can provide that service to you and bill you for it. 

Secondly, if we want to collect and use your information for other purposes, we may need to ask for your consent (permission) and, if we do, that permission must always be indicated by a positive action from you (such as ticking a box) and be informed. You are also free to withdraw your permission at any time. We tend to need permission when what is proposed is more intrusive.

But we do not always need permission. In some cases, having assessed whether our use would be fair and not override your right to privacy, we may come to the view that it falls within the third ground – our ‘legitimate interests’ to use the information in a particular way without your permission (for example, to protect our network against cyber-attacks). But when we do this, we must tell you as you may have a right to object, and we must consider further. 

This is all set out in detail in this policy, which focuses more on those items that we think are likely to be of most interest to you. As well as covering processing for business purposes, we give you information on circumstances in which we may have to, or can choose to, share your information.