10 Downing Street Privacy Notice For Children

The law requires us to tell everyone who contacts the Prime Minister's Office, or sends a gift(s), how we handle the personal information that they provide to us. By personal information, we mean things like your name, address and phone number. Keeping these details helps us manage the large quantities of letters, emails, phone calls and gifts that we receive on a daily basis but it is important that you know what we do with this information.

If you want to better understand this, it would be sensible to speak with a parent, guardian or teacher. You can also request information directly from the Prime Minister's Office if you want to know more.

Why we hold your information
The reason we store your information is:

  • To help reply to the large number of letters and emails that the Prime Minister receives from members of the public, Parliament and other organisations such as businesses and charities.

  • To manage requests for information which can be made under laws – for example, the Freedom of Information Act, Environmental Information Regulations and Subject Access Requests. For further information on these, you may wish to visit the Gov.uk website or speak with a parent, guardian or teacher who could help you learn more about them.

  • To help handle and respond to the large number of phone calls received by the Prime Minister's Office.

  • To keep a record of gifts and hospitality which the Prime Minister and her staff give and receive from people around the world.

The information
In order to do this, we will keep different bits of information about you. This might include:
  • Your name.
  • The date you contacted us on.
  • Your home address.
  • Your email address.
  • Your phone number.
  • Your school or the organisation you are writing from.
  • If you are sending or receiving a gift, what the gift is.
  • The concerns that you raise and any more information about yourself which you include.

Some information about you is treated as being particularly personal. It can include things like your religious beliefs, information about your health or your origin.

How are we allowed to use data?
The law allows the Government to hold and use information given to it so that it can provide the public with services, including replying to letters and emails. In terms of replying to letters and emails, the law allows the Government to handle your information so that people receive helpful replies which explain what it is doing in different areas (like education or health) clearly. This is also true when the Government holds particularly personal information you may have provided, such as your religion or political beliefs.

When a Member of Parliament writes to the Prime Minister's Office on your behalf, we will also keep some information about you to make sure we can provide a response to you. The law allows your Member of Parliament to write on your behalf and the Government to reply to them with your information so that you can receive a response.

Who do we share your information with?
We may share your information with other parts of Government. This is normally because they lead on the area you have written about. For example, if you have written about the National Health Service, we may pass your letter or email to the Department of Health and Social Care who would be able to provide you with a reply.

If you send a gift to the Prime Minister or her staff, we may also release that information publicly. This is because it is important that the public can see what the Prime Minister and her staff are being given so that the Government is seen to act in everyone’s best interests.

We may also share information with the police or doctors if any letters or emails show that someone may not be well.

How long will you keep my information?
We will keep your information for no more than 3 years, although there may be some cases where we will keep it longer. This could be because your letter, email or gift is of historical importance and we will keep it for our records.

Where do we get your information from?
If we did not get your information from you, it will have been provided by your Member of Parliament, or another person writing on your behalf. This would likely be a parent, guardian, member of family or teacher. It is also possible that another member of the public may provide information about you in their own letters or emails.

Because it is your information, you are able to ask a number of questions about how we handle and use it as well as ask for it not to be used. These questions are listed below and you may wish to discuss these with an adult so that you understand them fully.
  • You have the right to ask for information about how your information is recorded and used, and you can also ask for a copy of the information that we hold.

  • You have the right to ask that any inaccuracies in your information are corrected quickly.

  • You have the right to ask that any incomplete information is completed.

  • You have the right to ask that your information is erased if there is no longer any reason for it to be held by No10.

  • You may have the right in certain circumstances (for example, where you do not think the information held is accurate) to ask for the use of your information to be limited.

  • You have the right to say that you do not want your information used for marketing purposes.

  • You have the right to say that you do not want your information to be handled or recorded.

If you are unhappy about how your information is held or used, you can complain about this. There is a special organisation which deals with these complaints called the Information Commissioner's Office. They can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
0303 123 1113

Making a complaint to the Information Commissioner does not mean that you cannot seek a resolution through the court system. If you are unsure about this, you should speak with an adult to understand your rights fully.

The department responsible for your personal information is the Cabinet Office and its contact details are below:

Cabinet Office
70 Whitehall
0207 276 1234

If you have any concerns about how we are using your information, you can also speak to our Data Protection Officer. He provides independent advice and monitoring of how we use of personal information to make sure we are doing it correctly and as the law requires.

Stephen Jones
Data Protection Officer
Cabinet Office
70 Whitehall