Legislation that applies to Recording, Storing and Handling Information

The Data Protection Act, 1984 & 1998

The Data Protection Act, 1984 introduced rules on how to store information and the rights of individuals to access data related to them. The Act was revised in 1998 as technology had advanced. The Act relates to people living within the United Kingdom and provides a way in which individuals can be in control of information about themselves. It covers any data which can be used to identify a living person, including names, birthday and anniversary dates, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses etc. The Act was amended in 2003 to bring it in line with the EU Directives. This broadened the term ‘data’ to include organised paper filing systems. www.gov.uk/data-protection/the-data-protection-act

The Freedom of Information Act, 2000

There is a right under the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) to request information held by public authorities. This came into force in January 2005 and is know as ‘the right to know’ . It allows you to access recorded information (such as emails, meeting minutes, research or reports) held by public authorities in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Under the Act, a public authority includes:

  • Central government and government departments
  • Local authorities
  • Hospital, doctors’ surgeries, pharmacists and opticians
  • State schools, colleges and universities
  • Police forces and prison services

If you work in an organisation where this applies, please note that the individual has a right to view anything written about them. This may include documents, reports and even emails between two co-workers. This means that if you add to any of these records you need to remember that what you write must be accurate and suitable to be viewed by those it concerns. If a public authority believes that the information is covered by a qualified exemption or exception, it must apply the public interest test. This means it has to identify the reason why it is not in the public interest for that information to be shared. www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-information-request/the-freedom-of-information-act


Use to answer question 14.1a of the Care Certificate

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