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PRIVACY & COOKIES

Data Protecton Act 1998,
Freedom of Information
Act 2000

aDaVista can guide you
through it

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Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Logo Robyn Banks is an associate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q:  Data Protection that doesn't apply to me!

A: Yes it does!  Personal data can be held on clients and customers, just as much as staff.

Q:  What is Personal Data?

A: There is a vey broad definition in the Act itself basically below is a list of the most common formats held by businesses:

Name   Driving Licence number
Address         Passport Number
Telephone number     Business Card
Mobile telephone number     Expressions of opinion
NI Number/Staff        Photos
Date of Birth

Q:  Do I need to register a Notification with the Information Commissioners Office?

A: Regardless of how data are processed, compliance with the Act is a legal requirement. However, if you only hold data in a manual format, or electronically for three very specific reasons, then Notification may not be required. Best thing to be sure is check it out with a 'specialist'.

Q: Why do some experts maintain that manual data is still not incorporated in the legislation?

A: Because there was a legal case in November 2003 which determined that unstructured manual data was not caught however, the law has been amended since that date and aDaVista does not wish its clients to be caught out!

Q:  What about CCTV?

A:  CCTV footage is caught by the Act if the footage is being recorded and stored for prevention or detection of crime purposes a notice that it is in use must be displayed.

Q: But surely I am only keeping personal data on my staff it cannot possibly cover my client base details.

A: Yes it does cover customer information.  A Business Card is considered all to be personal data about the individual especially if that person is a sole trader!  For example, accounts information is covered because it is a record of a spending pattern.

Q:  This is bureaucracy gone mad!

A: We at aDaVista believe the exact opposite is true now a legal framework exists to be used by individuals and companies to improve decision-making by making as much information available as possible.  Obviously, some information needs to be kept confidential to ensure privacy and prevention of harm to the individual, or maintain business competition, but generally speaking, the idea is to level the playing field!

Q:   What is the Freedom of Information Act 2000?

A:    A piece of legislation permitting access to information held by public authorities - came into force 1st January 2005.

Q:  Does the Freedom of Information Act apply to everyone?

A:  No.  This Act applies to non-personal data held/processed by Public Authorities.

Q:   What is a “Public Authority” in the context of Freedom of Information?

A:  Not just Central Government; local government; public services (police etc), but also doctors; dentists; pharmacists and opticians.  All in all, over 100,000 in England and Wales.

Q: The Data Protection Act 1998 applies to the WHOLE of the United Kingdom – what about the Freedom of Information Act 1998?

A:   The Freedom of Information Act 2000 only applies to England and Wales.  Scotland has its own legislation.

Q: Who supervises compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000?

A:  The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in England.  There is a Scottish Information Commissioner for Scotland’s Act.

Q:  If the Freedom of Information Act applies to Public Authorities, what relevance is it to private organisations?

A:  The relevance comes into play where private organisations want to work with Public Authorities – find out everything about an existing contract and who else is bidding.

Q:  Can anyone request access to information?

A:  Yes.

Q:  Is access/disclosure guaranteed?

A:  No.  The public authority can withhold disclosure of information if they believe an exemption applies.  It has to put into the response to the Request the exemption which applies.  You can contest the application of an exemption.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
(More on FAQ page)

Q: Do I need to register a Notification with the Information Commissioners Office?

A: Regardless of how data are processed, compliance with the Act is a legal requirement. However, if you only hold data in a manual format, or electronically for three very specific reasons, then Notification may not be required. Best thing to be sure is check it out with a 'specialist'.

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Q: What is the Freedom of Information Act 2000?

A: A piece of legislation permitting access to information held by public authorities - came into force 1st January 2005.

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