Legal Requirements

Data Protection Act 1998 information

The Data Protection Act 1998 applies to all businesses, large or small that process information on or about individuals. The type of personal documents held may include name, address, financial details, medical, criminal records and employment history and can be in any form such as paper, computer records, CDs and disks.

Compliance Checklist – Data Protection Act 1998

  • Is the information I hold on an individual necessary and do I know my purpose for holding such data?
  • Do the individuals concerned know that I hold information on them and the purpose for holding the data?
  • Am I allowed to pass on information on an individual and are my staff aware of under what circumstances they can pass on data?
  • Is the data stored on individuals stored securely?
  • Is the data stored on individuals accurate and current and accessed by those on a “need to know basis”?
  • Is the data stored on individuals deleted or destroyed as soon as it becomes obsolete – is there a process for secure shredding of confidential data?
  • Do I have notices alerting people that I have CCTV – are the cameras correctly located and do not infringe on people’s privacy

The 8 Principles of the Data Protection Act 1998

1. Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully and, in particular, shall not be processed
2. Personal data shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes, and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes.
3. Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed.
4. Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date.
5. Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes.
6. Personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects under this Act.
7. Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data.
8. Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data.

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