background: data protection act: introduction
The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) gives legal rights to individuals about whom information is recorded on computer or in structured clerical filing systems.
Under the provisions of the Act individuals have the right to
- Know whether information about them is held on computer records and to be supplied with a copy of that information
- From October 2001, know whether information about them is held in clerical records and to be supplied with a copy of that information
- Compensation if they are damaged by inaccurate data or by the loss or unauthorised destruction or disclosure of personal data
- Have inaccurate data erased or corrected
- Complain to the Data Protection Registrar about any breach of the Act
The Data Protection Unit DPU is responsible for all administrative aspects of the DPA within the Department.
You can obtain information about specific items of data protection
- from the Data Protection Act 1998 Intranet page or
- by requesting it from your Data Protection Officer (DPO) or from the DPU.
You must be particularly careful when entering notes in the free format fields ontaxpayer records.
- Do not make an entry which could cause offence or that you would not want the taxpayer to see
- Remember that the contents will appear on screen prints issued as a result of applications under this Act
You will find full details on information disclosure in the Information DisclosureManual.