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Enforcing the Data Protection Act?


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Reading the Data Protection Act there seems to be no general mechanism for the data subject to enforce the principles. So while the act requires the data controller to handle data in accordance with the principles, if he doesn't there is no way for the subject to stop him unless he also suffers damages.


A company I have dealings with regularly sends information outside EEA without my permission, in breach of the 8th principle but there seems to be nothing that I can do about it.


Am I missing something here?

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Do the ICO really get involved in individual cases?


I assumed that if I contacted them they would wait for six months and then send back a standard letter (they've done this to me in the past).


Are there examples of where they have got involved on a timely basis?

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the ICO state they have no powers to punish companies and that court action has to be taken.


i've just had this with Lowell who've admitted about 4 breaches of the DPA but i've been told that's all the ICO will do.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest peed orf

Hi Tifo,

if these companies have put data against your name that is incorrect, in the form of defaults etc. You could apply for a credit card or remortgage, or try to open a new bank account, when you get a refusal letter (refusing because of your credit score), you will then have proof of financial harm, due to their incorrect data, this will enable you to take up a defemation claim with a criminal court, and they will not be able to settle out of court (like in a county court).

This will enable you to take it to a hearing, have the company fined/loose their liscence and or compensation.

Sounds harsh, but if you needed £10K to get out of financial difficulty, and was able to do so by releasing equity from your propety because of their actions, may have stopped you doing so.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I made a request under the data projection act subject access report for all infomatiom to be sent to me relating to myself in any medium to my housing association landlord. I believe am entitled to a copy of the information.

My housing association has responded giving me a copy of their policy to invite me to view the record in the presence of the Area Housing Manager at their Head Office and that wherever possible photocopying facilities will be made available. I have had a quick but not detailed look at their policy document and it says that the Data Protection Act gives individuals the stautory right to see and check details about themselve that are held in the form of computerised data and that for tenants of local authorities this extends to manual records under the Acces to Personal File (Housing) Regulations 1989.

I do not know much about the data protection act, however, I was of the understanding that it allowed me to receive copies (ie photocopies) of all information in any form, be it emails, letters, internal memos etc.

I want to send them a letter saying very simply.

RE your letter.

The Data Protection Act works at a level above you own policies, please send me all information as per my request dated -- -- -- under the act as per my letter. If you require any further information on how to comply with my request I refer you to the Act. Please comply within the time period allocated under the act.


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