Confidentiality Policy

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Gay Switchboard Ireland takes caller confidentiality very seriously and we aim to create a trusting relationship between service users and our volunteers.
Callers’ personal details are never collected or shared with third parties unless consent has been given and only on a ‘need to know’ basis.
All calls remain confidential between the caller and Gay Switchboard Ireland. Specific exceptions to this are listed below and are made only where there is a potential risk to the caller or others and/or where required by law.

Our volunteers will not discuss details of specific calls with any third party. However, for publicity or reporting purposes we may refer to general themes and trends relating to calls such as homophobic bullying, etc.

All callers to the service are free to speak to volunteers anonymously or use a pseudonym if they feel more comfortable. We will never ask your name unless it is relevant in a call.

Gay Switchboard Ireland’s telephone system is designed so that it does not display the caller’s telephone number. We will never pass on caller details unless this has been agreed with the caller and as per the exceptions listed below.

Any email correspondence received is kept securely and will be forwarded only where necessary. For example, fundraising or training queries will be forwarded to the relevant Gay Switchboard Ireland Coordinator.

Gay Switchboard Ireland’s telephone system is capable of producing call data about the calls we receive (eg; time, duration of call etc).
This is for statistical information relating to calls and is collected for managerial and supervisory purposes only so that we can tailor the service to meet demand. The data is collated anonymously. No information that might in any way identify a caller or callers will ever be published without explicit consent.

Gay Switchboard Ireland does not record telephone calls. Occasionally, and only for the purpose of training or monitoring and evaluating our service, a member of the training team may “listen in” to the call by using an additional earpiece. The purpose of this is to ensure that new volunteers are trained to our standards and to ensure that we provide a quality service to our callers. Ultimately, all calls remain confidential between the caller and Gay Switchboard Ireland.

If a caller makes a complaint, we will need to ask for identification details. The caller’s personal details will only be kept long enough to ensure that the complaint is dealt with and to ensure the safety and welfare of both our callers and our volunteers. All complaints will be passed to the Director of Gay Switchboard Ireland for investigation. Should the complaint be about the Director, then it will be dealt with by the Gay Switchboard Ireland Committee.

All data is managed within the terms of the Data Protection Acts, 1988 & 2003.

Confidential Caller Information Exceptions:

If a caller is perceived as presenting a serious and immediate risk to others.
If a call seems to indicate abuse of any kind to children.
If a call indicates possible terrorist action.
If a caller gives informed consent because they are a risk to themselves
If we receive a court order requiring us to divulge information.
If we are passed information about acts of terrorism or bomb warnings.
If a caller attacks or threatens volunteers.
If a caller consistently prevents the service from being delivered to others.
If the information is already in the public domain.

Our Website

Our website does not use cookies, apart from temporary “session” cookies which enable a visitor’s web browser to remember which pages on this website have already been visited. Visitors can use our website with no loss of functionality if cookies are disabled from the web browser. Technical details in connection with visits to our website are logged by our Internet Service Provider (ISP) for our statistical purposes.
No information is collected that could be used by Gay Switchboard Ireland to identify website visitors.
The technical details logged are confined to the following items:
·         The IP address of the visitor’s web server
·         The top-level domain name used (.ie, .com, .org, .net etc)
·         A previous website address from which visitors reached us (includes search terms used)
·         Click stream data which shows the traffic of visitors around this web site (eg: pages accessed and documents downloaded)
·         The type of web browser used by the website visitor.

Gay Switchboard Ireland will make no attempts to identify individual visitors or to associate the technical details listed above with any individual. It is the policy of Gay Switchboard Ireland never to disclose such technical information in respect of individual website visitors to any third party (apart from our internet service provider, which records such data on our behalf and which is bound by confidentiality provisions in this regard), unless obliged to disclose such information by a rule of law. The technical information will be used only by Gay Switchboard Ireland and only for statistical and other administrative purposes. Technical details which cannot be associated with any identifiable individual do not constitute “personal data” for the purposes of the Data Protection Acts, 1988 & 2003.

Data Protection

Gay Switchboard Ireland adheres to the following eight principles of data protection:

1. Obtain and process information fairly
2. Keep it only for specified and lawful purposes
3. Process it only in ways compatible with the purposes for which it was given
4. Keep it safe and secure
5. Keep it accurate and up to date
6. Ensure it is adequate, relevant and not excessive
7. Retain it no longer than it is necessary
8. Provide a copy of a person’s individual personal data if they request it.

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