Data Protection – telephone numbers

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    Is the recording of customer telephone numbers on CTAX account details acceptable with regard to the principles of Data Protection?

    I would say yes it is, particularly in the case of recovery accounts and a few other reasons. However I would also accept that we don’t need to hold or record this information when it can be obtained in the phone book or elsewhere, and because we can always write to the customer…

    Can anyone point me in the direction of Data Protection documentation that says anything about the recording of telephone numbers on customer account details?

    Thank you.


    Council’s will be registered with the Information Commissioner to process “personal” data for the purposes of administration and collection of local taxation. The question is – do you need telephone numbers to administer and collect council tax? if the answer is no then holding telephone numbers could be deemed “excessive” and in breach of the data protection principles.

    However, these days there could be a general expectation of customers that councils would hold their phone number and ring them about account problems (I’ve lost count of the number of times customers have said “why didn’t you ring me …” when they have been sent a reminder or summons).

    This is probably one of the areas where your in-house legal team may wish to make a decision.

    One other thing to bear in mind is that breaches of the Data Protection Act are enforceable against the individual (i.e. council tax officer) and not the Council….

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