7. WARNING: Rogue Heir Hunters,  Miscellaneous

What an heir hunter should do with your data

Due to the nature of our work, dealing with sensitive data in a confidential and secure manner is vital.

As we delve into the deceased’s legacy, we collect personal information about them and their family, we have a duty to protect this information.

After the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) came into effect in 2018, every company, institution, or sole trader, is required to protect a living persons’ (“subjects”) private data and their fundamental rights with regards to how their information is used.

In our last blog article “4 easy steps to verify an heir hunter” we advised you to check that an Heir Hunter is registered with the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) through a simple name search, to see if they comply with data protection guidelines.

At Celtic Research, we keep all client data confidential and we will only share the necessary personal information required for the purpose of administering an estate and executing our contract, such as the address where a solicitor can post our client a cheque.

Once a case has been completed, the physical file is destroyed by shredding and we retain a basic electronic file in encrypted offline drives held in secure locations, putting the information ‘beyond use’ until the expiration of the statutory limitation period.  

On a happier note, our research can lead to heartwarming reunions of unknown, lost, or estranged family members and surprising revelations of family secrets. With our client’s consent we can facilitate communication between estranged family members whilst still safeguarding their data. See the BBC1 Heir Hunters series for some of our puzzling cases and you will understand why we take our duty of confidentiality so seriously: https://www.celticresearch.com/heir-hunters/

We will not pass anyone’s personal details to another member of the family without the explicit written permission of the data subject, who controls who we pass on the information to and what details we can provide.

Trustworthy and professional heir tracing firms will ensure to keep your details confidential and it’s your choice what they do with it.

Prevention is key – therefore stay tuned for Celtic Research’s upcoming articles with more specialist advice. Get in touch if you have more questions!

Blog by Manuela Willbold