The Data Protection Act gives legal rights to individuals (data subjects) in respect of personal data held about them.
Purpose of the act
The Data Protection Act 1998 is designed to cover the collecting, storing, processing and distribution of personal data. It gives rights to individuals about whom information is recorded.
This 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.
They also have rights in relation to automated decision taking, 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 Data Protection 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 (BACP). They must be open about the use of such personal data through notification to the Information Commissioner and they must follow sound and proper practices by applying the Data Protection Principles.
The Government has published its Data Protection Bill to replace this Act. The European General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will come into force in May 2018.
Accessing your personal information - subject access request (SAR)
What is a subject access request?
Under the Data Protection Act 1998 an individual has the right to request all personal data that a Data Controller (BACP) holds about them by making a subject access request. The Data Protection Act gives Data Controllers 40 calendar days to complete a subject access request. This time starts from the day BACP receives a clear request and enough identification to be sure that the request is from the data subject. Once this information has been received the Information Officer will contact you to acknowledge that the 40 day period has started.
You can make a request to access your personal information using the form below. Before you do please take the time to read the information provided on this page.
Information you need to provide
BACP does not have to start working on a subject access request until you have provided enough information for us to find the personal data.
1. A clear, specific request
For example, a request for 'all of the personal data held on me' is not specific enough for us to find your personal data.
2. Current identification
BACP takes great care to ensure that personal data is only disclosed to those who are authorised to access it. For this reason you will need to provide a form of ID from each of the lists below in order to request your personal information.
Examples of acceptable name identification:
- current driver's licence
- current passport
- birth certificate
Examples of acceptable proof of address:
- utility bill
- bank statement
- council tax bill
Address ID is necessary in order to ensure that your personal data is being posted to the right place. If you would rather pick up your data by hand then please let us know.
3. Charging for requests
BACP charges £10 to process each subject access request. All cheques must be made payable to BACP.
Our responsibility is to tell you clearly what we plan to do with your information and how we plan to share it.
If you have applied for or are already receiving a service from us, we have the right to use and share your information internally within BACP and with our partners in order to provide services to you.
We will only share your information when we feel it is appropriate and where it is permitted by law.
We promise to adhere to the Data Protection Act 1998 and we will take reasonable steps to protect your confidentiality and only hold your information for as long as it is necessary.
If you do not want us to use your information, you have the right to withhold your consent from it being shared. This may mean we will not be able to provide you with the services you may require or need.