Keeping your data safe
Channel 4 is a publicly-owned and commercially-funded UK public service broadcaster. We reinvest all of our profit back into programmes to ensure that we can continue to deliver high-quality, innovative, alternative content at no cost to the taxpayer.
You can find out more about Channel 4 and our statutory remit here.
Who does this policy apply to?
Your personal data may be processed as part of the following services:
As a publisher-broadcaster, Channel 4 commissions UK content from the independent production sector. As part of the commissioning process we might receive personal data directly from yourself or we might receive it directly from a production company or another third party;
Channel 4 produces content through 4creative, our in-house creative agency who produce work across Channel 4’s brands and services;
4Studio produces in-house digital content, which includes short-form content production and publication across social media platforms as well as branded entertainment opportunities to the advertising market; and
We may receive personal data directly from you as a result of you contacting Channel 4 to submit feedback, queries, praise, complaints and/or comments.
- employees and freelancers for Channel 4;
- contributors where an independent production company controls their personal data.
1. Who's in control?
2. What data do we collect and why?
2.1 This information may include:
2.1.1 your name, social media usernames, address and contact details;
2.1.2 footage of you;
2.1.3 your bank account details, your tax status, your tax code and national insurance number (to deal with National Insurance and tax);
2.1.4 a copy of your passport (for verification purposes, in order to meet our legal obligation to check you have the right to work in the UK and in connection with any visa, certificate of sponsorship or any other permit we are required to obtain where applicable);
2.1.5 information about your health (to obtain and administer insurance, to arrange and administer any medical treatment you may require and to assess your suitability to contribute to the Content);
2.1.7 any information you provide as part of the filming and recording of Content including personal information relating to your ethnicity, political opinions or religious belief, trade union membership, physical or mental health, sexual orientation, genetic and biometric data (“Special Category Personal Data”) and criminal background data (in order to meet our legal and regulatory obligations such as diversity monitoring and to safeguard the welfare of you and third parties and to assess your suitability to take part in the Content); and
3. Where do we get your data from?
3.1 You will provide us with personal data through application forms, release forms, contracts, emails, interviews, other forms of correspondence and/or communication etc.
3.2 We may collect information about you from other sources including public sources (such as social media), public opinion through surveys and market research, industry contacts, and from third parties such as production companies or authorities that might carry out searches against you (such as DBS checks).
4. What is our legal basis for using your data?
4.1 Data protection law says that we must tell you the legal basis that we rely on to process your personal data for the purposes that we have notified to you. This section tells you what that legal basis is in relation for each of the purposes set out above. Our legal grounds for collecting and using your personal information are primarily:
4.1.1 in the event that we are processing your personal data as a Contributor, our legitimate interest in considering your application to be included in the Content and the publication of your contribution as journalistic, artistic or literary material;
4.1.2 in the event that we are processing your personal data as a viewer who has provided Voluntary Data, our legitimate interest in ensuring that we continue to improve our service and provide our viewers with the best products and most effective service possible;
4.1.3 in the event that we are processing Voluntary Data in the context of a complaint, that it is in our legitimate interest to process your personal data in order to investigate complaints in an appropriate way, ensuring compliance with our policies, and strengthening our operations and procedures;
4.1.4 that it is necessary for the performance of the contract and relationship between you and us, including rights management, making payments, contacting you or your agent about the engagement and other purposes for the exploitation of your contribution;
4.1.5 to comply with our statutory, regulatory or compliance obligations, such as equal pay and treatment, health and safety, safeguarding, HMRC reporting and our legal obligation to carry out research to improve our Content;
4.1.6 that there could also be situations over the course of creating Content where it is necessary to use your personal data to protect your vital interests or the vital interests of another individual, such as someone needing urgent healthcare where they cannot rely on consent.
4.1.7 We also sometimes rely on your consent, for example where you choose to be contacted by us by email for marketing purposes. We do not generally rely on obtaining your consent to process your personal data to make Content in which you appear. This is something which we do as part of our legitimate interests, as explained above. Where you have entered into a contract with us to participate in our Content, we may be entitled to make the Content available whether or not you later change your mind about participation.
4.2 Special Category Personal Data - We have to have an additional legal basis to process your Special Category personal data. Where we hold your Special Category or Criminal Offence personal data, we will only process this for the purposes of journalism, arts and literature or where we have your consent or otherwise where the law allows (such as where you have made manifestly made public your personal data).
5. Who do we share your data with?
5.1 We do need to share your personal data with some third parties in some circumstances. This could include production companies, Creative Diversity Network (see the section below at clause 5.3 on Diversity Monitoring), legal and regulatory authorities, insurers, our professional advisors, third party service providers (such as those that help us to manage our Viewer Enquiries process) and other third parties. When we share your personal data with third parties, we ensure that your personal data is kept secure, is only used for the defined purpose, and is held and deleted in accordance with our data retention requirements. Your personal information will be made available to the public to the extent it is included in the Content.
5.2 Should we send your personal information outside of the EEA to a country not recognised as providing appropriate protections, we put in place appropriate contracts or other safeguards to ensure your rights are protected.
5.3 Diversity monitoring
5.4 How long do we keep your data for?
5.4.1 Your personal information will only be kept for as long as needed for the purpose described in this policy or as otherwise notified to you. We carefully consider how long we keep personal data and we regularly review our information and erase or anonymise personal data when we no longer need it. We consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal information, the potential risk of harm from its unauthorised use or disclosure, the reason(s) we need to process the information, whether we can achieve these through other means, and any applicable legal or regulatory requirements or available exemptions. For example, a contributor release form will normally be kept for 21 years from the end of a shoot, but contributor criminal record checks will be deleted 18 months after first transmission of the relevant Content. If you want more information on how long your personal information is kept for then please contact us.
5.4.2 Any Voluntary Data you submit to us will be retained for a period of two years from submission, after which it will be anonymised or deleted unless there is a requirement for us to keep it for longer. Calls to our Viewer Enquiries number are recorded for training and monitoring purposes and retained for a period of two years, after which they are deleted.
6. What rights do you have?
6.1 You have several rights under data protection law. These rights and how you can exercise them are set out in this section. We may ask you for proof of your identity before we can respond to a request to exercise any of the rights in this section and we may need to ask you for more information, for example to help us to locate the data that your request relates to.
6.2 We will respond to any requests to exercise your rights as soon as we can and in any event within one month of receiving your request and any necessary proof of identity or further information. If your request is particularly difficult or complex, or if you have made a large volume of requests, we may take up to three months to respond. If this is the case we will let you know as soon as we can and explain why we need to take longer to respond.
6.3 A right to access your information
6.3.1 You have a right to ask us to send you a copy of your all personal data that we hold about you (subject to some exceptions). A request to exercise this right is called a "subject access request" (SAR) and must be made in writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org or to: Data Protection Officer, Channel 4 Enquiries, PO Box 1058, Belfast, BT1 9DU. Please be aware that where a third party production company has been commissioned by Channel 4 to make the Content then it is likely they will be the Data Controller and you may wish to approach the production company in the first instance.
6.3.2 We do not accept subject access requests made via third parties without a letter of authorisation from you sent directly to us confirming that you authorise the third party to act on your behalf. We do not accept SAR requests from platforms where we are required to set up an account in order to provide the response to the SAR.
6.4 A right to object to us processing your information
6.4.1 You have a right to object to us processing any personal data that we process where we are relying on legitimate interests as the legal basis of our processing. Where we rely on legitimate interests we consider that, on balance, this processing is not disproportionate to your rights and freedoms and any impact this processing may have on you.
6.4.2 If we have compelling legitimate grounds to carry on processing your personal data, we will be able to continue to do so. Otherwise, we will cease processing your personal data.
6.4.3 You can exercise this right by emailing email@example.com.
6.5 A right to have inaccurate data rectified
6.5.1 You have a right to ask us to correct inaccurate data that we hold about you. If we are satisfied that the new data you have provided is accurate, we will correct your personal data as soon as possible. We can refuse to comply with a request for rectification if the request is manifestly unfounded or excessive.
6.6 A right to have your data erased.
6.6.2 The right does not apply if the processing is necessary for one of the following reasons:
(a) To exercise the right of freedom of expression and information;
(b) To comply with a legal obligation;
(c) For the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority;
(d) For archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific research, historical research, or statistical purposes where erasure is likely to render impossible or seriously impair the achievement of that processing;
(e) For the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
6.7 A right to have processing of your data restricted
6.7.1 You can ask us to restrict processing of your personal data in some circumstances, for example if you think the personal data is inaccurate and we need to verify its accuracy, or if we no longer need the data but you require us to keep it so that you can exercise your own legal rights.
6.7.2 Restricting your personal data means that we only store your personal data and don't carry out any further processing on it unless you consent or we need to process the data to exercise a legal claim or to protect a third party or the public.
The UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 set out exemptions from some of the rights and obligations in some circumstances. One such exemption can apply if you process personal data for:
• journalistic purposes;
• artistic purposes; or
• literary purposes.
Together, these are known as the ‘special purposes’. This means we do not need to apply aspects of the legal framework if they are not compatible with the artistic purposes of the Content and there is public interest in making the Content.
8. How can you contact us?
9. What if you have a complaint?
9.1 You have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner's Officer (ICO), which regulates data protection compliance in the UK, if you are unhappy with how we have processed your personal data.
9.2 You can find out how to do this by visiting www.ico.org.uk.
Where the personal data is for children they should have this policy explained to them by their parent or guardian.
11. What if this policy changes?
11.2 This policy applies on and from 25 September 2023.