At Kooth we take the privacy and safety of our users very seriously. We have written this document to tell you:
- What information (data) we collect.
- How we use it
- How long we store it
- Your rights with regard to the information you share with us.
Your Data - Your Rights
When you sign up to Kooth you give us some basic information. This information is called “data”.
This data tells us how many young people have registered with Kooth and also their year of birth, gender, ethnicity and the area where they live. This information is stored securely on our servers and is anonymous and encrypted. (Coded which ensures your data is protected)
We use this data to measure how we are performing as a service and to improve our service. This includes working with researchers from universities who get ethical approval for their work.
For Kooth to be able to improve its services, we need to work with universities and NHS organisations to help us analyse our data.
We may also share your data with the company/companies that provided you with access to the service. Any data shared will be anonymous and securely transferred, and will help inform the company/companies about usage of the service, including, but not limited to:
- Number of registrations
- Site usage
- Issues faced by service users
- Outcomes achieved
We store and share this data safely and completely anonymously, and follow all legal requirements for this. No identifiable information will ever be shared outside of our organisation for research purposes.
If you want to find out more information about how we use data for research please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This data does NOT enable us to:
- Identify an individual user or
- to trace or find an individual.
We do not ask any young person, at the point of registration, for any information that may identify them.
We are asked by the people who pay for the service, the funders, to provide them with anonymous monthly case studies of our work with young people. The funders use the case studies to see how well Kooth is doing in supporting you.
Counsellors also have to take part in ongoing training and development so that they can be best placed and trained to support you. This means that they sometimes also have to write case studies for their courses or training. Whenever a case study is written, we never use any information that may identify you. It will never be possible to identify you from these case studies.
Referral from Kooth to external services
Sometimes getting extra help for you can be really helpful . Depending on where you live you may be given the option of a referral to another service in your area. These services may be operated by Kooth or a partner organisation.
If you choose to self-refer to one of these services through the Kooth platform you will be asked to give us your personal details: your name(s), address, phone number and date of birth. This information/data is called Personally Identifiable Information or PII for short.
Your PII will be stored on the Kooth system and is only accessible to the Kooth Team and the organisation you are being referred to. The counsellor will seek your consent to pass over your details, although we will ‘act’ to protect you without your consent if necessary or if you are unable to give consent. We will always let you know who we are passing details to and would work with you to agree every step we may take and why, if this is appropriate to do so.
If we are really worried about you and think that you are at risk or danger, we will talk to you about the need for somebody outside the Kooth team to know what has happened or what is happening to you.
We would only do this if:
- your life is at risk because of something you are doing
- you are at risk from somebody else
- you are a risk to somebody else.
In these cases, your counsellor will ask you for your contact details so that they can refer you to the appropriate services or get the help you need.
Your PII will be stored on the Kooth system and is only accessible to the Kooth Team and the organisation you are being referred to. We will always:
- Seek your consent to pass over your details, although we will act to protect you if you are at risk of harm, if you tell us something which means you could pose a risk to others or if you are unable to give consent
- Let you know who we are passing details to and why.
- Keep you informed of any actions we intend to take.
- Where possible, we will work with you to agree every step taken.
Your right to withdraw your consent - as with adults all young people have the right to withdraw consent if you have shared any personal identifiable information with us and we are able to identify you. You can withdraw your consent to share information at anytime. A request to withdraw consent should be sent to Judy Happe who is our Data Protection Officer.
The contact email address is DPO@mindzonegroup.com
The right to view the data we hold about you.
Children and young people have the same rights as adults to see what data is kept about them. If you want to view your records at Kooth, you can do so by messaging our Data Protection Officer. The contact email address is DPO@mindzonegroup.com
We can only show you your data if we know who you are and you can provide proof of your ID.
Because your data is sensitive and may be triggering we don’t post out data to children and young people, but will invite you into our office in Manchester or London, so that a trained counsellor can provide support to you while you view your data.
Further information and frequently asked questions can be accessed via the links below.
If you have any other questions do not hesitate to speak to a member of the team via our message or chat functionalities.