Frequently Asked Questions About Data Protection

Why is it important for your organisation to comply with the Data protection Act?

The Data Protection Act 1998 (“DPA”), lays down eight data protection principles that any organisation processing data of individuals must comply with.

What does the DPA cover?

The DPA came into force on 1 March 2000. The DPA implemented the European Union (“EU”) Directive on data protection into UK law introducing radical changes to the way in which personal data regarding identifiable living individuals can be used. The constant need for businesses to process personal data means that the DPA impacts upon most organisations, irrespective of size. Furthermore, the public’s growing awareness of their right to privacy means that data protection will remain an important issue.

The DPA makes a distinction between personal data and personal sensitive data. Personal data includes personal data relating to employees, customers, business contacts and suppliers. Sensitive data covers an individual’s ethnic origin, medical conditions, sexual orientation and eligibility to work in the UK . The data protection principles set out the standards which an data hk organisation must meet when processing personal data. These principles apply to the processing of all personal data, whether those data are processed automatically or stored in structured manual files.

What is data?

Data means information which is processed by computer or other automatic equipment, including word processors, databases and spreadsheet files, or information which is recorded on paper with the intention of being processed later by computer; or information which is recorded as part of a manual filing system, where the files are structured according to the names of individuals or other characteristics, such as payroll number, and where the files have sufficient internal structure so that specific information about a particular individual can be found easily.

What are the eight data protection principles?


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