UK Data Protection Act 1998 .

Essay by gobrie12University, Master's May 2003

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Data protection Act 1998

Data protection act was revised in 1998 and was put into force in March of 2000. The new act changes original definitions and meanings and broadens the scope of the original act. There are eight principles again, but these are altered in form from those of the 1984 act.

Only 48% of SME's have documented procedures in place to ensure compliance. DTI security survey 2002.

Purpose of Act

"To protect the rights of individuals in relation to the processing of personal data by either automatic means or within relevant filing systems"

Main stakeholders are:

*Data subject

*Data controller

*Data commissioner

Data commissioner duties - Richard Thomas

*promoting good information handling

*encouragement of codes of practice for data controllers

Non compliance

*data controller can be ordered to pay compensation

*significant reputation risk

Act has 8 principles

*fairly and lawfully processed;

*processed for limited purposes;

*adequate, relevant and not excessive;


*not kept longer than necessary;

*processed in accordance with the data subject's rights;


*not transferred to countries without adequate protection

1 Fairly and lawfully processed

And at least one of the following

-Consent is given; this cannot be inferred from failure to return a notice of objection; BGTL v data protection registrar 1998

-Relates to performance of a contract

-Vital interest ie life and death

-Required by employment law

-Public interest

-Legal proceedings

-Info used for equal opportunities and specified by secretary of state

Sensitive or personal data

Racial, political sexual trade union membership etc

Confidential info and references

-references for employment or education need not be disclosed by referee

-info supplied in confidence to controller which would identify the provider to the subject need not be disclosed if provider objects.

Automatic decision making

-concern that automated by sole decision method; appraisals, staff selection

-care exercised...