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Helpline Privacy Policy

CALM Helpline Privacy Policy

Collection of Personal Data

CALM helpline services are anonymous and confidential. CALM helpline respects the privacy of callers. For this reason caller display is disabled on helpline channels and telephone numbers are not seen or recorded by the helpline. CALM helpline has no access to IP addresses of users of webchat. CALM helpline does not routinely collect or process any personal data of users of the helpline. Names, addresses, date of birth, contact details are not required or asked for to use the service. Your privacy is of paramount importance to us.

Personal data may also be collected in the event of a complaint being made. It will only be used for the specific purpose of responding to the complaint.

Reporting of Numerical Data

CALM does need to provide evidence to its funders and fundraisers how their donations are used, so the helpline does need to provide narrative and statistical analysis of the helpline service. For reporting purposes we do record where given the age band, gender, location by region and general circumstance (topics of the call/chat) of the caller. This is only statistical data in a numerical format and is stored in a secure database held on a secure UK based server. There are no personally identifying details i.e. name or, phone number contained in any records. Any narrative used by CALM to demonstrate impact and outcomes of using the helpline is therefore completely anonymised and not traceable back to any caller. Many steps are therefore taken to anonymise any data given to the helpline.

Quality Assurance

A number of calls may be randomly recorded for the purposes of quality control and training, which is in our legitimate business interest. These are deleted within a month of recording and are only heard by CALM helpline staff. Similarly a number of webchats may be randomly selected for the purposes of quality control and training. They are deleted within one month and are only read by CALM helpline staff. If a chatter uses the webchat code on repeat visits then they are aware that their chats will be collated in the system and the helpline staff can view past chats in real-time during subsequent chats with the person using the code.

Consent for Collection and Transfer of Personal Information for Protection of Vital Interests

Personal data information will only be requested if a user of the CALM helpline presents with a cause for concern. A cause of concern is defined as a user being at imminent risk of death or reports the same situation affecting a third party, or with information pertaining to terrorism. More information regarding this can be found in the CALM Helpline Confidentiality Policy.

In this instance personal data such as (but not limited to) first and second name, address, location at the time and telephone number, can only be obtained by the helpline with the consent of the person using the helpline. After this consent is received information will be gathered to pass on to emergency services so that the individual subject of the cause for concern can be reached and assisted. This data is only passed on to the emergency services. They record it according to their policies and procedures, beyond the control of CALM.

Storage and Retention

In order to protect the vital interests of helpline users the information provided to CALM helpline by the individual in this cause for concern situation is recorded by CALM helpline on paper with date and emergency services log numbers, and stored securely in the helpline base. It is kept for seven years, it is stored to allow reference should this be required in due course because of police investigation following a death or to recognise repeated calls for assistance. Please also see detail under Quality Assurance regarding recording of calls and storage of webchats.

Your Rights

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) you have a number of rights with regards to your personal data which is only obtained in the situation outlined above. You have the right to request from us access to and rectification or erasure of your personal data, the right to restrict processing, object to processing as well as in certain circumstances the right to data portability.

Withdrawal of Consent

If you have provided consent for the processing of your data you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time which will not affect the lawfulness of the processing before your consent was withdrawn.

Making a Helpline Complaint

If you wish to make a formal complaint about the helpline you can contact or write to CALM, 5 Wootton Street, London, SE1 8TG. In order to respond to a complaint, it is necessary to know the name and contact details of the user. In these circumstances, personal data collected will be managed in line with CALM’s privacy statement.

Making a Data Protection Complaint

You have the right to lodge a complaint to the Information Commissioners’ Office if you believe that we have not complied with the requirements of the GDPR or DPA 18 with regard to your personal data.

Data Protection Officer

If you have any concerns as to how your data is processed you can contact: Data Protection Officer, at

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