Consumer rights survival guide

Data protection

the data protection act

The data protection act, which came into force in 2000, is a set of principles designed to give consumers rights to information that is held about them.

The main principles of this act are:


The data protection act does not cover certain types of information, for example information relation to the prevention or detection of crime, or to national security.

what you can do if you think your data protection rights have been breached:

If this breach of rights has resulted in 'distress' you can write to whomever is holding the information about you and request and ask them to stop using your data in this way. The data holder has 21 days to reply, either confirm that they have ceased using this data or their reasons why they think your request was unjustified.

If you need further support relating to your data protection rights, you should contact the Information Commissioner's Office. They have the power to award compensation if you have experienced substantial distress or damage in relation to a breach of your data protection rights.

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