By: Simon B
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Your right to have your data protected
The Data Protection Act protects your personal data, such as your medical records, your credit reference files, or your employment files and so on.
Data held about you has to be accurate, up to date, and secure. It also shouldn’t be kept any longer than necessary. Only relevant people should be given access to it without your consent – in other words, for example, your boss needs to ensure that your work records aren’t in an unlocked filing cabinet where your colleagues can get their hands on them and your council tax department shouldn’t pass on your name and address to a company selling car parts.
Of course, some exceptions exist. If the Police National Computer contains an entry about you, it can be passed on to a prospective employer who is hiring you to work with children or vulnerable adults and who is checking through the Criminal Records Bureau. You have the right to see the information held about you by any organisation, although you may be charged for a copy. You should put your request in writing to the person you think holds the information. For more information, go to the Web site of the Information Commissioner at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.