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Privacy Notice

The Department of Environment, Food & Agriculture takes the protection and correct use of your personal information very seriously. The Department is a controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 2018 and is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The Department of Environment, Food & Agriculture is responsible for protecting the environment from the people and the people from the environment. We also manage most of the plantations, upland areas, glens, Sulby Claddagh and the Curraghs Wildlife Park for the benefit of our residents and visitors.

In addition, we provide financial and legislative support to the Agriculture and Fisheries industries, and provide Pest Control and Dog Warden services.

This is a Departmental Privacy Notice but a Privacy Notice for each area of the Department, each containing more specific detail, can be found on the front web page for each business area.


  • Personal data means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’). An identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.

  • Processing means any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction;

  • Controller means the natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data.

  • Processor means a natural or legal person (other than an employee of the agency or body), public authority, agency or other body which processes personal data on behalf of the controller.

Collecting your Personal Information and the legal basis for doing so

We collect and process information including your personal information, in order to perform tasks carried out in the public interest with their bases in various legislation as listed in the individual areas linked above in order:

  • To provide effective and efficient services, both statutory and discretionary
  • To provide effective and efficient regulation
  • To help prevent and detect crime
  • To contact you when the need arises

Some information may also be collected on the basis of:

  • your consent – we will request your consent at the time of collection. If it is provided you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time using the contact details below.
  • Compliance with a legal obligation to which the Department is subject. Such as the Health & Safety at Work Act if an accident occurs on DEFA property.
  • The performance of a contract between you and the Department to which you will be subject.
  • Protecting the vital interests of a data subject or of another natural person.

Further detail is available in the individual Privacy Notices linked above.

How your Personal Information is collected

Further information is available on the individual Privacy Notices linked above but basically your Personal Information is collected:

  • On the various application forms, both paper and electronic, issued for reasons such as Planning applications, support payments, licence and permit applications, regulatory activities etc.
  • Via our websites.
  • Telephone conversations when you speak to any of our Officers to request assistance or advice.
  • Email contacts when you contact any of our officers to request assistance or advice
  • Interviews and conversations in relation to regulatory and investigation activity. These may be contemporaneous notes or voice recordings if the interviews are needed for potential legal action;
  • From the internet and social media when officers may be searching for background public information to support an investigation.
  • There are CCTV cameras on Department buildings (IOM Sawmill, Thie Slieau Whallian) that collect images for crime prevention and investigation reasons.
  • Information may be collected from third parties when it will help to provide a service to you that you have requested or if it will progress an investigation that we have a statutory duty to conduct.

How and why your Personal Information is shared and who with

Further information is available on the individual Privacy Notices linked above but basically your Personal Information may be shared:

  • Within the Department to provide effective and efficient services and regulation. Your information will only be used for purposes that align with the original reason for collection.
  • With other Government Departments, Statutory Boards and Offices, where there is a statutory requirement, to provide effective and efficient services, regulation and crime prevention, detection and prosecution
  • With other bodies, stakeholders and partners (where we have your consent), which the Department may engage to further its aims and regulatory activities
  • To online registers that we have an obligation to maintain and make available.

Where there is a legal obligation to do so, the Department will check and verify the information you provide to us. This may include checks of publically available information (e.g. at the Companies Registry) but in some cases, where it is necessary and relevant to your application, the information you provide may be disclosed or shared with other organisations in order to complete these checks. 

This is to allow us to verify the information and documentation you have provided is correct and will also help prevent and detect crime. Again, further information is available on the individual Privacy Notices linked above.

Types of personal information that are collected

Further information is available on the individual Privacy Notices linked above.

  • Contact details such as names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses
  • CCTV will collect your image when you visit our sites and offices
  • Our websites will record details of your visit such as duration and pages visited
  • Bank details
  • Professional and personal references
  • Your views and opinions in response to consultations
  • Your relationships to any businesses the Department may support or investigate


Length of time your Personal Information is kept

Your Personal Information will be kept in compliance with the Department's Retention Schedules and in all cases for the minimum time necessary in order to both complete the service you have requested (or that we are required to investigate or supply) and to fulfil our record keeping obligations.

The Public Records Act 1999 determines the need for the Department to retain information for historical or archiving purposes by the Public Record Office (PRO) and we engage with the PRO to decide what should be retained for the island's permanent archive and what can be destroyed.

How your Personal Information is kept safe

The security and confidentiality of your information is very important to us. 

We will ensure that: 

  • Safeguards are in place to make sure personal information is kept securely
  • Only authorised staff are able to view your information and only when it is relevant to their role.
  • Your personal information will not be retained any longer than absolutely necessary.

Automated processing

DEFA will only undertake automated processing when explicit consent is obtained from the data subject.

Individual rights and choices when sharing Personal Information with the Department, Board or Committee

You have a right to access your personal information to ensure that it is accurate, and to request that it is rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed if it is inaccurate.

To make any request relating to your data held by us, please contact the Data Protection Officer for the Department using the details below.

Guidance on how to exercise your rights, including how to make a Data Subject Access Request, is available.  

Thie Slieau Whallian,
Foxdale Road,
St John’s,
Isle of Man, 

Phone: +44 1624 686781
Fax: +44 1624 685851

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, you may also complain to the Information Commissioner, whose details can be found on, or the relevant supervisory authority. You may have a right to other remedies.

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