Under the Data Protection Act if a company has information stored on you then you have various rights. Here is a guide to how to get the info.

If an organisation holds information on computer or certain paper files about you personally, you have the right of access to that information. This is called the 'Right of Subject Access'. If that information is not correct, you also have the right of alteration or deletion of that information.

To get access to your information, you need to write to the organisation that is holding the information. Each organisation has to appoint a person or department who acts as a Data Protection Officer and will be your point of contact. If you do not know their name, just use Data Protection Officer.

You need to supply details of your relationship to that organisation and where they might find information held on you. For instance if you are an employee give your payroll number etc, if you are a customer then give information as to your point of purchase of goods or services. The more information that you can give them about where they may find the information the more likely it is that your request will be wholly sucessful.

You may need to supply £10. The organisation is entitled to make a maxium charge of £10 to cover costs of searching for your data. This should be a cheque or postal order and is payable only once.

When you have done this you are entitled to a reply within 40 days from the Data Protection Officer. However this reply may not be the data you are requesting, merely a letter to say they are looking into it and need more time, or that they will not be releasing the data.

Apart from a few exceptions, you should get back all the information held in the organisations various files and systems that mention or refer to you personally or an opinion about you. This can include personel department files, emails from, to and mentioning you, letters on file, reports mentioning you etc. You may not receive the full email/report etc. however you should receive enough for you to be able to understand the context in which you are mentioned. References to third parties should have been removed or obscured.

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