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British Law >> Citizen Area >> Data Protection

Data Protection

The Data Protection Act is designed to protect you from people who may want to access your personal information for their own reasons. It may be something relatively inoffensive, like getting addresses to send out retail offers, or it may be more sinister. The Act is designed to ensure that people who hold information about you follow a code of conduct to ensure safety of your personal information.

The Act contains eight Data Protection Principles.
These state that all data must be:

  • Processed fairly and lawfully
  • Obtained & used only for specified and lawful purposes
  • Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Accurate, and where necessary, kept up to date
  • Kept for no longer than necessary
  • Processed in accordance with the individuals rights (as defined)
  • Kept secure
  • Transferred only to countries that offer adequate data protection

If you believe that someone has misused your personal data, you can:
- Contact Citizen Advice Bureau who provide a wide range of advice on all legal matters.
- Find A Solicitor using the Law Society search facility to identify a local solicitor working in that area of law.

Other useful links are included below.

Information Commissioner covers both data protection and freedom of information as well as citizen's rights.

Department of Constitutional Affairs site on People's Rights and Freedom of Information.

DPA Toolkit for employers.