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What am I entitled to see?
This right, commonly referred to as subject access, is created by section 7 of the Data Protection Act.
It is most often used by individuals who want to see a copy of the information an organisation holds about them.
However, the right of access goes further than this, and an individual who makes a written request and pays a fee is entitled to be:
- told whether any personal data is being processed
- given a description of the personal data, the reasons it is being processed, and whether it will be given to any other organisations or people
- given a copy of the information comprising the data; and given details of the source of the data (where this is available)
In most cases the Department must respond to a subject access request promptly and in any event within 40 calendar days of receiving it.
However, some types of personal data are exempt from the right of subject access and so cannot be obtained by making a subject access request.
How to make a subject access request
You should write to the Department at the address below providing the following information:
- your full name and address
- details of the information you want. Please be as specific as possible, and if it isn’t obvious, explain why you expect us to hold your personal information
- you may also at some stage be required to forward some forms of identification, for example, a copy of your driving license, birth certificate, passport (copy of the page giving personal details) or recent utilities bill
There is also a £10 fee which can be requested although the Department normally waives this.
How and where to send your request
Please send your request, two forms of identification and the £10 fee to:
We will process your SAR in accordance with the DPA and provide you with a response within 40 calendar days of receipt of all the relevant information detailed above.