Data Protection - ScoutHelp

The Data Protection Act was developed to give protection and lay down rules about how data about people can be used. Usually this data is stored on a computer. It helps protect you information and stop people from nicking it.

The Data Protection Act 1998 covers:

  • Information or data
  • stored on a computer or an organized paper filing system
  • about living people.

How the Act works:

The basic way the Act works is:

  1. By setting up rules that people have to follow
  2. Having an Information Commissioner to enforce the rules.

It does not stop companies storing information about people. It just makes them follow rules about how they can store it and how they use and collect it.

Who's involved?

  1. The Information Commissioner is the person (and her office) who has powers to enforce the Act.
  2. A data controller is a person or company that collects and keeps data about people.
  3. A data subject is someone who has data about them stored somewhere, outside their direct control.

This makes us all data subjects as there can be few people in the UK who do not feature in computer records somewhere.