Privacy Policy


This privacy notice explains what information is collected when you register on Birmingham Choice and how it is used when you use the service. Our core obligations under the Data Protection Act 2018 and commitments are set out in the council’s privacy statement.

The Birmingham Choice site is administered by Birmingham City Council who manage the Housing Register, and work in partnership with Registered Social Landlords to advertise properties.  Birmingham City Council is responsible for keeping your data secure.

For the purposes of Data Protection, Birmingham City Council works as a Data Controller to ensure that your information is collected and processed on the Birmingham Choice site.

The Privacy Notice below explains how we use the information collected from you on the Birmingham Choice site and how we protect your privacy.

Please note that failure to provide your personal data may lead to you being unable to access our services.


Our Details

The council is registered as a ‘data controller’ for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 2018 and The General Data Protection Regulations (EU) 2016/679 with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Our registration details are:

Birmingham City Council
Council House
Victoria Square
B1 1BB

Registration No: Z4594350.

If you have any questions about our privacy policy, the data we hold on you, or you would like to exercise one of your data protection rights, please contact the council's Data Protection Officer:

Corporate Information Management Team
PO Box 16366
Birmingham B2 2YY



Your Personal Data

“Personal data” means any information relating to a person who can be identified, directly or indirectly, from that information. This could include your name, your identification number, location data, online identifier (such as IP address) or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that person.

Some data is called special category data which is more sensitive, and we have to look after it more carefully.  Examples of this could include;

  • sexuality and sexual health;
  • religious or philosophical beliefs;
  • physical or mental health;
  • trade union membership;
  • political opinion;
  • genetic/biometric data;
  • criminal history.



Conditions of Processing

When we process your personal data we will do so in accordance with the data protection principles.

These principles are designed to protect you, and ensure that we:

  • deliver the service, or handle your query
  • plan and improve the services we offer
  • safeguard vulnerable adults
  • detect and prevent crime or fraud
  • evidence positive outcomes to central government funding agencies

We may also use your personal data for research; however this would be in anonymised form unless we ask for your consent to use your personal information for this purpose.



Why we Collect and Store your Personal Information

We require the information for a number of legal obligations.  These enable us to:

  • Assessing your eligibility to join the housing register and to determine your housing needs

  • Providing you with a personal online account and to send information regarding your use of the system

  • Maintaining and monitoring the Housing Register

  • Conducting surveys on your use of the service



Sharing you Information

Sometimes it may be necessary to share your information with other services in the purpose of offering you housing.  These can include Council departments or external agencies such as NHS, other councils, Police or the Probation Service.

The information you have shared on Birmingham Choice is stored on a database hosted by another organisation, called Civica.  We have an agreement in place to make sure that Civica complies with data protection law and they are not allowed to use your personal information for their own business purposes, unless you have agreed to this.

In rare circumstances we are required to share your information.  However, this would only be when urgent circumstances would dictate that it is more important than protecting your privacy.  Examples of this could include;

  • to protect a child, or adults who are thought to be at risk,

  • to help prevent crime and fraud,

  • if there are serious risks to the public, our staff or to other professionals.


In circumstances where information is shared in this way, we will make sure that we record what information we share and our reasons for doing so. We’ll let you know what we have done and why, if it safe to do so, unless we are not required to do so. For example if a person is under investigation for fraud, letting them know that an investigation is taking place may disrupt the investigation so we would not need to tell them.



The National Fraud initiative

The Council participates in the ‘Cabinet Office Fraud Initiative’. This requires us to provide particular sets of data to the Minister for the Cabinet Office for matching purposes. We do not require your consent to share the data with the Cabinet Office, and the matching is carried out with statutory authority under part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.

In accordance with our retention schedule, we shall keep your personal data for a period of 6 years.

You have certain rights in relation to your personal data, and details of these as well as how to exercise your rights and who to contact are on the privacy page.


How Long we will Keep Your Personal Information

In most cases, for the purposes of processing and administering your application, we will keep it for 6 years, after which it will generally be deleted. 

However, if we have a legal reason to keep your personal information, it will not be deleted.


Your Rights

You have certain rights in relation to the personal information we hold about you. In particular, you may have a right to:

  • Right to be informed – you have a right to be told how the council use your personal data. The council communicate the right to be informed via this privacy policy.
  • Right of access – you have the right to request a copy of the information that we hold about you.
  • Right of rectification – you have a right to correct data that we hold about you that is inaccurate or incomplete.
  • Right to erasure (right to be forgotten) – in certain circumstances you can ask for the data we hold about you to be erased from our records.
  • Right to restrict processing – where certain conditions apply to have a right to restrict the processing.
  • Right of data portability – you have the right to have the data we hold about you transferred to another organisation.
  • Right to object – you have the right to object to certain types of processing such as direct marketing, the performance of a legal task and scientific or historical research.
  • Right to object to automated processing, including profiling.
  • The right to withdraw consent - If the legal basis for our processing of your personal information is consent then you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time.

Some of the rights are complex, and there are circumstances where your rights will not apply, for example the right to erasure will not apply if your personal data is required for legal proceedings. It is recommended that you read the relevant guidance notes on the council website, or on the ICO’s website for further information.


How to Exercise Your Rights

You may exercise any of your rights in relation to your personal data by writing to us at:

Corporate Information Management Team
PO Box 16366
Birmingham B2 2YY

To avoid delay in dealing with your request please ensure that you confirm in your letter which right you wish to exercise along with the reasons why.

The first copy will be provided free of charge, but additional copies may be subject to a reasonable fee.

We will respond to your request within 30 days, by either providing you with the information requested, requesting further information from you, or requesting further time to complete your request, if for example the request is substantial or we need to obtain information from various departments within the council.

The council can also refuse your request. In the event that the council refuses your request we will provide you with reasons why, as well as provide you with details of how you can challenge or appeal our decision. You will also be informed of your right to legally challenge our decision with the ICO.