THE UNITED KINGDOM DATA PROTECTION ACT

The U.K. Data Protection Act (DPA) is the legal framework for privacy and data protection in the UK. DPA is exclusively concerned with “personal data.” Data related to corporations is excluded from the Act. DPA mandates are enforced by the Information Commissioner, who is an independent authority appointed by the Queen and reports directly to the U.K. Parliament. The Freedom of Information Act of 2000 is also a complement of DPA; the acts overlap where personal information is considered for disclosure. This article addresses the following topics: the consent issue and the individual’s rights under DPA; and the DPA relation to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) of 2000.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

Under the Data Protection Act, is it necessary to obtain consent of a person to disclose the use or sale of personal information?
What are the rights of an individual under the Data Protection Act?
Do the Freedom of Information Act, 2000 and Data Protection Act, 1998 relate to each other?

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