Data protection

Accessing personal data

Accessing personal data about other people

You only have right of access to your own personal data.

You do not have right of access to personal data about any other individual, such as your family, friends or neighbours except in the following circumstances:

  • you are a parent requesting information about a child but there is no automatic right to the data. If a child is old enough to give informed consent and understands the contents of the information, the council will be guided by their wishes. In most cases children aged 13 and above are regarded as having sufficient maturity to respond to such requests but each case will be judged on its own merits. In all cases disclosure would only occur if it is in the best interests of the child.
  • a solicitor is requesting information on behalf of a client - a signed authority form from the person concerned is required
  • an agent or family person has written authorisation to act on behalf of a person.

Getting your information

You can usually get your information, but there are exemptions under the Data Protection Act that prevent certain records being released.

The main exemptions are as follows:

  • Law enforcement - catching or prosecuting offenders
  • National security
  • Assessing or collection of taxes/duties
  • Adoption records and reports
  • Examinations marks and examinations comments
  • Personal data about someone
  • Information that would identify someone who has supplied data in confidence about you.

In circumstances where data held on you relates to another person, the Council will need to ask for their permission before this information can be released.