What is the Data Protection Act?

The Data Protection Act 1998 came into force on 1 March 2000.

Section 7 of the Act says that a ‘data subject’ (the person who is referred to in the information) is entitled to be informed whether any personal data is held or processed about them, and to be provided with a copy of the information held. Requests must be in writing.

The Act also makes sure that those who record and use personal information must be open about how the information is used.

There are certain exemptions. For example, a police force would not disclose information that would hinder efforts to prevent or detect crime.

Further information

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