The Data Protection Act 1998 controls how personal information is used by organisations, businesses and the government.

Anyone processing personal data, including BCCA members, must comply with the eight data protection principles:

  1. Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully
  2. Personal data shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes, and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes
  3. Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed
  4. Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date
  5. Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes
  6. Personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects under the Act
  7. Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data.
  8. Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data.

It is important to note that Data Protection Regulation is changing, and after over three years of discussion a new EU data protection framework was agreed on 15 December 2015.

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will impose new obligations on data controllers and all organisations will have to be prepared for them as the Regulation comes into force in early 2018.

More information on Data Protection can be found on the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) website. The ICO is the UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights.

For more information on the GDPR, see the article on pages 8 and 9 of the January 2016 edition of our quarterly magazine.

We will also be keeping members up to date on the reforms via our weekly newsletter Insight and our regular Extra briefings.