The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) came into force on 1st March 2000 and repealed the Data Protection Act 1984 and the Access to Personal Files Act 1987. The Act created a single process for access to personal information held by the Council. Under the Act named, living individuals are entitled to access personal data held by the Council.
Subject to a small number of exemptions under the DPA any living person who is the subject of personal information held and processed by the Council has a right (“a subject access right”) to request (“a subject access request”) access to those data. Such data may include factual information, expressions of opinion and intentions of the Council in relation to the individual.
Scope of the act
The Data Protection Act applies to all individuals whether they are an employee, elected member or a member of the public. Each individual has the right to access personal data, prevent processing likely to cause damage or distress and prevent processing for the purposes of direct marketing.
Individuals also have rights in relation to automated decision making, to take action for compensation if they suffer damage by any contravention of the Act by the data controller, to rectify, block, erase or destroy inaccurate data and to make a request to the Information Commissioner for an assessment to be made of the data controller if they feel that the Act has been contravened.
The Act places obligations on those who record and use personal data (data controllers). They must be open about the use to which they put such personal data through notifying the Information Commissioner. Such notification (i.e. registration) may be accessed at The Information Commissioner’s website.
This site contains a great deal of information about this subject and in particular lists the eight Data Protection Principles.
If you would like to read the full text of the Act you may find it on the website of the Office of Public Sector Information website.
Information Management Team
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