© Copyright 2017 United Utilities Group PLC
This notice applies to personal information we hold about individuals, sole traders and partnerships. It does not apply to information we hold about companies and other large organisations. It explains how we may collect information about you and then use it. It also explains some of the security measures we take to protect your privacy, and tells you certain things we will not do. We also tell you what your rights are, and how you can get in touch with us, and give links to other policies which you might find helpful.
United Utilities is a group of companies which includes United UtilitiesWater Limited, the water and wastewater undertaker for the North West of England. Further details of these companies can be found in the subsidiaries section of this website. We, United Utilities, will process any personal information that you or third parties provide to us and have the relevant registrations in the United Kingdom under the Data Protection Act 1998. We will comply with the provisions of this Act, including in relation to the security of any personal information which is supplied to us and/or which we ask you to provide to us. We endeavour to take all reasonable steps to protect your personal information.
You understand that we may use your personal details if you are registered as a user of the services provided by United Utilities or use the United Utilities web site generally for the purposes which we describe in this policy. The purpose of this statement is to set out how your personal information will be used by companies within United Utilities.
- When you use this site, you may supply and/or be asked to provide certain information such as your contact details, bank details, or other information relating to services you have with us. We will store this data and hold it, for instance, on computer systems. We will use this data to provide you with the services or information you have requested and for other purposes which we set out in this policy.
- Information (including information on the services we provide you such as water usage and about any monies you owe us) that you provide or that is obtained by United Utilities or kept in its customer records, will be shared within United Utilities to help us understand your relationship across the whole of United Utilities, and to effectively administer your overall relationship with us. We will also use this information for assessment and analysis (e.g. customer satisfaction, customer and product analysis, marketing, fraud prevention ) to enable us to review, develop and improve the services which we offer and to understand and select products and services which we think, from the information we have about you, will interest you or be of benefit to you.
- We may also give information about you as follows:
- to employees and agents of the group to administer any accounts, products and services provided to your by the group now or in the future;
- to collection agencies, credit reference agencies, fraud prevention agencies, lawyers, and local authorities to help us manage, administer, trace and collect debts on your accounts;
- to anyone to whom we transfer or may transfer our rights and duties under our agreement with you;
- if we have a duty to do so or if the law allows or requires us to do so; to the police and other law enforcement agencies investigating criminal offences if we are satisfied of the circumstances surrounding the request.
You should be aware that information conveyed by e-mail could be deliberately or accidentally intercepted or corrupted. The company does not accept any responsibility for any changes or breaches of confidence which may arise through use of this medium. The content of e-mails sent and received by company employees may be intercepted or monitored by the company for security and training purposes. Whilst we make every effort to ensure that e-mails we send to you are free from viruses this cannot be guaranteed. We recommend that you scan all e-mail for viruses with appropriate and frequently updated virus checking software. You are advised not to use e-mail to send us credit/debit card information, bank account details, billing or other personally identifiable information as e-mail may travel unencrypted and can be read by anyone who receives or intercepts it. Once your information reaches us, we store it behind a secure firewall that blocks access to the information from outside of our network. Only United Utilities authorised individuals and, where necessary, those of our third party partners, are allowed to access the information.
We take reasonable precautions to protect your information, however you should understand that "perfect security" does not exist on the internet or on email networks and that use of these mediums involves some level of risk to you.
Method of response
You acknowledge and agree that we may treat specific actions by you, such as sending us an email, or supplying us with an email address for customer services to respond to you, as a request that we may, where necessary, communicate in our response personal and/or account information by email. We also reserve the right to select an alternative method to communicate with you. We may update your account with the email address you contact us with.
If you have given us your mobile phone number we may update your account with it and use it to contact you. Please let us know if your details such as your address, mobile phone number and/or email address change so that we can keep your records up to date.
Where you communicate with United Utilities electronically (including by email, telephone or fax) this communication will be recorded and randomly monitored for training, quality and security purposes.
When one of our customer advisors/employees needs to contact you to discuss your account or the services and products we supply you with, they will ask you security questions in order to validate your identity and protect the information we hold about you.
Disclosure of personal information
We will not disclose your personal information unless we are permitted to do so by law. Instances where we may share your personal information include:
- with our employees and contractors, including specialist data processors, in order to help provide our service to you;
- with credit reference, and fraud prevention, agencies in order to locate and identify our customers, understand their ability to pay, help prevent and detect fraud, or as part of our debt collection process;
- with external agencies in the event of an emergency situation, such as under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004;
- when we are under a legal duty to do so, because of a court order or statutory obligation;
- where we believe that you may be interested in the services offered by other organisations;
- to the protection and detection of crime;
- for research purposes.
The web chat system's main purpose is to provide an easy-to-use channel for customers to contact United Utilities. Users of this channel are reminded that any form of abuse towards employees which could include any information deemed by us to be unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, a personal attack on a person’s character, hateful, racially derogatory or otherwise objectionable is prohibited. We reserve the right to immediately terminate a web chat and/or deny the web chat facility to any person, at any time, with or without prior notice, with or without explanation.
In such cases, we reserve the right to collect and process the IP address relevant to the unacceptable behaviour and use this to identify the user with the intention of either bringing a civil claim against them in Court and/or reporting (disclosing) any abuse to the Police. We may share this information with the affected employee should they wish to take their own action.
Please note that every year, when we send bills to you, we are required by our regulators to supply you with certain information and this information will be included with your bill. If you have agreed to received products and services from another company and later decide not to, you will need to contact that company yourself to let them know.
Please note that if you participate in any surveys, for example the WaterTalk forum, this is used purely to receive feedback and to improve our services. No data submitted or collected will be used for marketing whatsoever without your further express consent
In order that we can monitor and improve the site, we may gather certain information about your use, including details of your domain name and IP address, operating system and browser type, for system administration. New technologies are emerging on the internet that help us to deliver customised visitor experiences. In particular, there is a technology called "cookies" which may be used by us to provide you with customised information from our web site. A cookie is an element of data that a web site can send to your browser, which may then store it on your system. Find out more about cookies.
We want to be able to identify who our customers are, make the best and fair decisions we can about the extent of their responsibility and their ability to pay for the services we are required to supply. We want to be able to place them on the best payment arrangement or payment assistance scheme with a view to helping them avoid water debt or become free of water debt. We are also aware, due to the way our industry is set up, that we need to seek out sources of accurate, up to date and relevant information about our customers in order to meet our DPA compliance obligations, as well as our business responsibilities.
We share information on all new and existing accounts with Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs) and, when fraud is suspected, Fraud Prevention Agencies (FPAs). These are highly reputable organisations that help to trace people who don’t pay their bills. They strictly safeguard the personal information we share with them about our customers. CRAs or FPAs won’t use your information to send you sales or marketing material you haven’t asked for.
What we will share with CRAs: Each month we will automatically share your outstanding balance and a status reflecting your payment behaviour. If you are a good payer (pay your bills on time) this will be shared each month along with your account balance and a status ‘0’ which tells the Credit Reference Agency that you are up to date. If your account is 1 month behind it will be shared as a ‘1’, 2 months behind a ‘2’ etc, but the highest status that will be shared is a 6.
If you fail to pay us or keep up to date with your agreed payment arrangement then your account will fall into default. When this happens, we will issue you a default notice and you will be given a deadline date by which you need to make the required payment. If you do not make a payment by the due date shown on the letter, we will then let the CRA know and a default will be registered on your credit file.
We strongly advise that you read the contents of our 'Guide to Data Sharing and Trace Searches with Credit Reference Agencies' and also 'Your personal data - what you need to know'
Who else will we share information with? We appreciate that you have provided your information to us and may not want us to share it with other people or organisations, however sometimes it is necessary for us to do so. We only share your information where we are permitted or required to by law, or where you have requested us to do so. We may share your information with, for example:
- any of your family, associates, or someone who represents you, where you have asked us to do so;
- employment and recruitment agencies, or current, past and prospective employers, where you require a reference from us;
- our employees who provide you with our services;
- carefully selected contractors and specialists to help us provide you with our services;
- credit reference, and fraud prevention, agencies in order to help prevent and detect fraud, or as part of our debt collection process;
- external agencies like the police, fire service, or local councils in the event of an emergency situation, such as under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004;
- any person or organisation where we are required to because of a Court order, legal duty, or statutory obligation.
We are careful to minimise such sharing.
If you are a 'non-household customer' (businesses, charities or public sector), as part of OpenWater we will share your information with Market Operator Services Ltd ('MOSL'). You may find out more about OpenWater at http://www.open-water.org.uk/. You may find out more about how MOSL processes your information at https://www.mosl.co.uk/privacy-notices/
Although we are a UK company, we may sometimes share your information with an organisation, such as a contractor working on our behalf, who is outside the UK. Such companies may also be outside of Europe. We may do this, but we will only do so where we are permitted to by law.
Whenever we share your information we do everything we can to ensure it is protected from misuse or loss. Your Rights - You have the right to see information about personal data (as defined in the Data Protection Act) we keep about you upon written request, identification and payment of a fee.
If you wish to make a request to access your information please contact the Data Protection Team, United Utilities, Grasmere House, Lingley Mere Business Park, Lingley Green Avenue, Warrington WA5 3LP. If you would prefer a third party to act on your behalf you will need to complete our authorisation form, giving us permission to discuss your personal details with your nominated person or organisation.
For further information about how we collect, use and protect your information please see the links below to related policies:
Who are we?
We are United Utilities Water Limited, the water and wastewater services provider for the North West of England and part of the United Utilities group of companies. You can contact us at our registered office: Haweswater House, Lingley Mere Business Park, Lingley Green Avenue, Great Sankey, Warrington WA5 3LP.
What is this information about? This information relates to the United Utilities mobile application (App) including any updates or supplements to it, and the data and information available through it. This document summarises:
• the information we collect about you through our App;
• how we collect it;
• how we may use it;
• how we will look after it;
• your rights towards your information.
UNITED UTILITIES AND DATA PROTECTION
This notice applies to personal information we hold about you. The Data Protection Act 1998 governs how we may use your personal information. We are registered under the Act and regulated by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) under registration number Z565021X.
What information do we collect?
When you first use this mobile application, you will be asked to provide certain information. This is so we know who you are and can validate your mobile account. We respect your privacy and we try to minimise what we do collect. We only collect information that we need to validate you and to enable you to use our mobile application.
We obtain details like:
• your name and address;
• your billing reference number;
• your mobile phone number and your device token identification number;
• payment card details so we can manage your payment for our services.
How will we use your information that we collect?
We want to keep in touch with you about our services and your account. The mobile number provided may be used to contact you if we need to, including sending texts and notifications via the mobile application.
If you call our customer contact line, we also record your phone call, for security and training purposes, and to ensure we record the details of your contact for our records. Please let us know if your mobile phone number or any of your personal details changes so that we can keep this information up to date.
We also use your information in various ways, such as:
• meeting the purposes that you provided the information for;
• seeking your views on any service we supply;
• keeping our records accurate and up to date;
• letting you know about water related goods or services we feel could benefit you;
• dealing with any enquires you may have or resolving unpaid bills;
• letting you know of any works we may be [conducting] [undertaking] in your area.
Who do we share your information with?
We appreciate that you have provided your information to us and may not want us to share it with other people or organisations. However, sometimes it is necessary for us to do so. We only share your information where we are permitted or required to by law, or where you have requested us to do so. Whenever we share your information we do everything we can to ensure it is protected from misuse or loss. We never use information about you unless it is lawful for us to do so and we have a clearly defined need or purpose. We may share your information with, for example:
• any of your family, associates, or someone who represents you, where you have asked us to do so;
• our employees who provide you with our services;
• carefully selected contractors and specialists to help us provide you with our services;
• fraud prevention agencies in order to help prevent and detect fraud;
• external agencies like the police, fire service, or local councils in the event of an emergency situation;
• any person or organisation where we are required to because of a Court order, legal duty, or statutory obligation.
Credit Reference Agencies: we share your personal data with, as well as receiving your personal data from, credit reference agencies (CRAs). The personal data shared and received may include your name, your address, and date of birth, dates of occupancy and your account payment history. We are doing this to help us maintain up-to-date customer records, manage our customer debt risk and feed information into our debt collection process.
How do we keep the information secure on our mobile application?
We fully encrypt your personal data when it is stored or transferred and ensure full encryption of any payment transactions you carry out. For your protection, keep your passcode details safe and please do not write them down. Do not share your passcode with anyone else. Your right to access the information we hold (and other information about your rights). The Data Protection Act 1998 gives you certain rights towards your personal information. We take all reasonable steps to ensure we allow you to exercise those rights.
From time to time we may tell you about water related offers we think may interest you. However, if you don’t want to be contacted about any offers at all, please let us know by calling 0345 075 0715.
Access to your Data
You have the right to see all the personal information we hold about you, by making a data subject access request. If you wish to make a request to access your data please contact the Data Protection Team. You can write to: United Utilities, Grasmere House, Lingley Mere Business Park, Lingley Green Avenue, Warrington WA5 3LP. Email: DataProtectionandFraud@uuplc.co.uk
Changes to this statement
Occasionally, we may amend this privacy statement to reflect changes. We therefore suggest you check this statement from time to time to ensure you are aware of the latest version.