Accessing your personal information – subject access request
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives you the right to access personal data that we hold about you.
You can do this by making a subject access request.
On this page:
- data controller – the organisation which makes decisions about the personal data
- data subject – the subject of the personal data
- personal data – any data that can identify a living individual
- redaction – removal of information which can’t be disclosed
See the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) guide to data protection.
The General Data Protection Regulation allows individuals to access any personal data that is held about them.
Some files, such as social care files, contain information about people other than the data subject. This information is known as ‘third party data’ and will be removed from the file unless it is known that the data subject is aware of it or consent for disclosure has been obtained.
There are a few ways that you can obtain information about another individual.
The easiest way is to obtain their consent. A consent form should be signed by the data subject and clearly set out what data can be released.
Anyone with parental responsibility can obtain their children’s records. However, once a child reaches an age where they can understand the implications of their data being shared their consent will be sought.
1. A clear, specific request
The Council does not have to start working on a subject access request until you have provided enough information for us to find the personal data.
For example, a request for ‘all of the personal data held on me’ is not specific enough for us to find your personal data.
The Council processes personal information for many reasons, below is a list of the most requested information types:
- social care information
- housing benefit files
- council tax information
- employment files
You will need to state which Council departments you have dealt with.
If you are requesting social care information then please provide details of any family members who were also involved with social care. This will allow us to conduct a more thorough search of our social care records and allow us to provide you with more information.
2. Current identification
The Council takes great care to ensure that personal data is only disclosed to those who are authorised to access it. For this reason you will need to provide a form of ID from each of the lists below in order to request your personal information.
Examples of acceptable name identification:
- driver’s license
- birth certificate
Examples of acceptable proof of address:
- utility bill
- bank statement
- council tax bill
Address ID is necessary in order to ensure that your personal data is being posted to the right place. If you would rather pick up your data by hand then please let us know.
The General Data Protection Regulation states that we must provide access to the information without undue delay, and within one month. This time starts from when the Council receives a clear request and enough identification to be sure that the request is from the data subject. Once this information has been received we will contact you to acknowledge that the one month period has started.
Some social care files are very large and complex and may take longer than one month to complete as we may choose to exercise an extension of up to 2 additional months (making it 3 months in total), as permitted by GDPR. If this is the case with your request we will contact you.
The first stage is to contact us to request a review of your request. The General Data Protection Regulation does not specify how long a review should take but in most cases the Council will attempt to review your request within 20 working days.
If you are still unsatisfied after a review then the next stage is to contact the Information Commissioners Office (ICO):
Information Commissioner’s Office
Tel: 01625 545 700