This guide to the Data Protection Act, 1984, has been prepared by the Computer Law Group of Clark Holt Commercial Solicitors.
The purpose of the Act:
To protect individuals by regulating the way data about them is held.
The Act itself:
Gives private individuals the right to find out information that is being held about them. They can then challenge the data and, in certain circumstances, claim compensation.
Provides that 'data users' must be open about how they use personal data.
Provides that 'data users' must follow sound and proper principles.
The duty to register:
The general rule is that any person who keeps data about living individuals who can be identified from that data or other information in the possession of that person, must register if the data is in a form that can be automatically processed. Registration applications cost #75.
Registered data users must comply with the data protection principles in relation to the personal data they hold.
Broadly, these state that personal data shall:
- be obtained and processed fairly and lawfully
- be held only for the lawful purposes described in the register entry
- be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date
- be surrounded by proper security
- be held no longer than is necessary for the registered purpose
Registration forms are available from:
The Data Protection Registry on 01625 535777.
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