Personal data and data protection
What is the Data Protection Act (1998)?
The Data Protection Act protects an individual's privacy and ensures that personal data is processed responsibly and in accordance with the law. Personal data refers to information that can be used to identify an individual.
The Data Protection principles
We must make sure that all personal data is processed in line with the eight data protection principles. These principles ensure that personal data shall be: -
- Processed fairly and lawfully
- Processed for specified purposes
- Adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purposes for which they are held.
- Accurate and where necessary kept up to date
- Retained for no longer than necessary
- Processed in accordance with the rights of Data Subjects under the Act
- Kept secure
- Not transferred to other countries without adequate protection.
Some exemptions may apply, for example where processing is necessary for the prevention or detection of crime.