The Data Protection Act (1998) is based on 8 legally enforceable principles that organisations and individuals must apply when they process your personal data. The principles underlying it are designed to keep your personal information confidential, accurate and secure.
You have a right to request a copy of all information the council holds about you. This is called a Subject Access Request.
Personal data is information that relates to a living individual who can be identified from that information, for example, names, addresses, council tax reference number, benefit entitlements etc. The Act also protects 'sensitive' information you supply to the council, including, information about your health, racial or ethnic origin and the commission or alleged commission of any offence.
Make a Subject Access Request
The Data Protection Act gives you a general right of access to personal data that relates to you. Access requests must be made in writing or on a Personal Data Protection Request form (Word, 82kb).
You must supply as much detail of the information that you are seeking as possible in order to locate the data requested along with proof that you are the data subject.
You must include:
- as much detail of the information that you are seeking as possible to locate the data requested eg which department holds it and any reference numbers which you have
- proof that you are the data subject in the form of two documents which prove your identity, this could include: a passport, driving licence or a utility bill which should be less than three months old. At least once of the documents must contain your signature to compare it with the one on the form
- a payment of a £10 administration fee
You may supply the documents by presenting them in person. If making your application by post, please send photocopies.
Your application, proof of identity and £10 cheque, payable to North Ayrshire Council, should be sent to the address below.
What happens next?
Your request will be acknowledged within 3 working days. We will respond to your request within 40 days.
Once we respond to your request, you will receive:
- a copy of all, or part, of the data we hold about you and an explanation why some data cannot be provide
- reasons why we keep your data
- details of who we share your data with
Can I see all the information that is held about me?
Usually you will be given a copy of all the information that the council keeps about you. There are times when we will withhold some information, such as:
- information about another member of your family, unless explicit permission has been given by that person
- information which has been given about you by a person who does not work for, or on behalf of, North Ayrshire Council, unless explicit permission has been given by such an individual
- information which may prevent the detection of a crime or prosecution of an individual, or which may affect a legal matter such as care proceedings
- information which it is believed would cause you, or another person, serious physical, mental or emotional harm if shared or disclosed.
Asking for information on someone's behalf
You can ask a 3rd party representative to act on your behalf when making a Subject Access Request, such as, a solicitor, financial advisor, doctor, carer or family member. In this case, the council must be satisfied that you have consented to this arrangement so we will ask your representative to demonstrate this.
Parental and guardian rights
In cases where data subjects are incapable of understanding or exercising their rights, for instance because they are too young, then Subject Access Requests may be made by parents or other persons who are legally able to act on behalf of the data subjects.
What if I want to change or amend information that is held about me?
If you believe that the information we hold about you in our records is incorrect you can request that it is removed or corrected. We will consider your request and may ask for further details or evidence to support it. If we are satisfied that the information we have is inaccurate we will make sure that it is either erased or amended.
The council's Data Protection responsibilities
The Data Protection Act regulates how organisations collect, process and store, and if appropriate, disclose personal information held electronically and in paper files. The council has a Data Protection Policy (PDF, 246kb).
The Data Protection Register records how we do this. More information is available on the Information Commissioner's Office.
Data Protection Registration
North Ayrshire Council's Data Protection Registration number is Z4840237.
If you have any concerns about data protection, please contact us.