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Ed Turner
Ed Turner,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1729
Experience:  Director and Consultant Solicitor (Self-Employed) at Ed Turner LLB Limited
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I am wanting to create a personal website with a blog (as an

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I am wanting to create a personal website with a blog (as an individual rather than as any form of organisation) to collect, collate and report on the views of people living with the same illness as myself.This will include regular (annual/monthly) online surveys or polls that users can complete,if they choose to.These surveys and polls will ask about their personal experiences of the illness, their needs/wants and opinions, including about the actions/performance of the various charities and representative groups that exist for our illness.I have two areas of legal concerns before going ahead:1. GDPR and Data Protection --- If I collect the email address and IP address of those completing the surveys, what does this mean I need to do in terms of GDPR and Data Protection? This personal information will only be used to ensure each person cannot submit the survey more than once - it will not be used for any further contact or other purposes after the survey.Inevitably some basic information on the health of the respondents will also be collected - i.e. confirming if they have the illness in question, to what broad level and for how long. I understand this kind of data may change my obligations.If were to run these surveys without those personal identifiers being collected, but still with some health info as above, am I right to assume I'd be under no legal obligations of GDPR, etc, in this respect?2. Defamation or Libel --- results of the surveys would be shared on the website and also on social media. Would the results alone or with the inclusion of any opinions/analysis and commentary from myself leave me open to potential legal problems regarding defamation, libel and such. I, of course, intend to be fair, reasonable and measured in all reporting/commentary but there are frustrations with our charities/reps which would be communicated (e.g. things like: people don't think you're spending money how we want you to, your strategy isn't how we want it or we don't feel heard or listened to by our charities). My intention is also not to single out one charity, so survey results specifically on one charity would not be shared but rather I want to hold them all more to account and help them hear feedback better from the people they serve.ThanksGlen
Hello,

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!

Hello.   I am Ed, a Solicitor qualified in England & Wales with over a decade’s experience in the legal profession advising clients.

I specialise in Commercial Contracts, Business Transactions, Employment, Dispute Resolution, Personal Injury and Road Traffic Law and shall be reviewing your legal problem today.

Regarding the site’s automatic offer of a Premium Service Phone Call, I shall be delighted to talk with you by phone to discuss your issue in greater detail if you accept the offer.

However, if you do not want a phone call, please cancel the offer for a Premium Service Phone Call and you will not be charged extra.

Under the Data Protection Act of England and Wales and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation 2018, you as Data Controller and/or Data Processor must only process your Data Subject clients’ Personal Data for no longer than necessary to achieve your legitimate purpose for processing their Personal Data i.e. for customer services, billing and invoicing, taxation and marketing purposes with your clients’ express or implied consent.

You must carefully consider the length of time you need to store your client’s data to achieve your legitimate purposes and have in place an internal Data Processing and Retention Policy for your business’s employees to follow and an external Privacy Policy available for your clients to review on your website and at your offices so that they know how and why their Personal Data is being processed, including how long you are storing it and who your appointed third party Data Processors are, such as Internet Cloud Storage Providers (Google, Amazon) and Couriers (DHL, FedEx).

I therefore suggest that you instruct specialist Data Protection and Commercial Contracts solicitors to draft you a bespoke Privacy Policy for your website and offices that your clients can review and is incorporated into your supply of goods and services terms and conditions.   I also recommend that you have drafted an Internal Data Processing and Retention Policy for your employees to follow with clear guidance on how long clients’ Personal Data is stored.

I hope this resolves your enquiry.   Please revert to me if you require any clarification of my answer to your question and I shall be delighted to assist.

Kind regards

LawyerEd

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Thank you for the response. However, I don't feel the specific questions I have asked have actually been answered for point 1 I made. Point 2 hasn't been addressed at all.Also, I am not a business so references to this and to clients/taxation etc are irrelevant. I am as mentioned planning to do this as a personal, not for profit website as a private individual.Thanks
Glen

1.  Yes, you should store and process names and email addresses in accordance with GDPR.

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
OK thank you... "If were to run these surveys without those personal identifiers being collected, but still with some health info as above, am I right to assume I'd be under no legal obligations of GDPR, etc, in this respect?"

Health information is potentially sensitive personal data, so yes, I would comply with GDPR.

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
OK thanks. And point 2?

Defamation is a tricky area and whether a published statement is defamatory depends on a number of factors.

For a claimant to succeed in a Defamation Claim, the following conditions must be met:

1.  The statement in question must be a false statement of fact;

2.  The statement must be negative and derogatory to the extent that it is capable of lowering the claimant’s standing in the opinion of right-thinking members of society;

3.  The statement in question identifies or refers to the claimant;

4.  The statement in question was published to a third party;

5.  The statement must be capable of causing the subject “serious harm” if allowed to stand.

If your website users are the authors and posting their own comments on your website without you "vetting" them before publication, you will probably be classed as "Platform" rather than a "Publisher" and not incur direct liability for your users' defamatory content.

I have answered your questions as far as I am able to on the Portal.   Obviously, there is a limited amount of advice I can give based on a few lines of text on the Just Answer instant messaging Portal.  Very often the best I can do is “point you in the right direction” for the sake of seeking more detailed advice.

If you want further bespoke advice, I need to review all relevant correspondence and documents and advise in a telephone call.

I will place an offer of a Premium Service Phone Call Request through on the Portal.  If you do not want this additional service, I wish you all the very best in resolving this matter and of course for safely navigating the current “choppy waters” in which we all find ourselves.

Kind regards

LawyerEd

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
I understand text is limited, but you have managed to send fairly long messages, promoting a premium service, yet have not touched on point 2 at all.
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
I also wish you all best

"2. Defamation or Libel --- results of the surveys would be shared on the website and also on social media. Would the results alone or with the inclusion of any opinions/analysis and commentary from myself leave me open to potential legal problems regarding defamation, libel and such. I, of course, intend to be fair, reasonable and measured in all reporting/commentary but there are frustrations with our charities/reps which would be communicated (e.g. things like: people don't think you're spending money how we want you to, your strategy isn't how we want it or we don't feel heard or listened to by our charities). My intention is also not to single out one charity, so survey results specifically on one charity would not be shared but rather I want to hold them all more to account and help them hear feedback better from the people they serve."

My answer:

Yes, there is always a risk that any fact or opinion that you author and publish will be met with a claim for libel from the subject.   But this will depend on the criterion above for a libel claim to succeed and the individual facts of the case.

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Thank you Ed for coming back and for your time

You're welcome.   All the best with your new venture!

Ed Turner,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1729
Experience: Director and Consultant Solicitor (Self-Employed) at Ed Turner LLB Limited
Ed Turner and 6 other Law Specialists are ready to help you