Data Protection Act (1988)
The data protection act was passed to deal with privacy issues arising from personal information about people kept on a computer, as distinct from manual files.
The act gives rights to individuals and puts responsibilities on those who keep personal information on computers.
Data – information in a form in which it can be processed
Data subject – a person who is the subject of personal data, e.g. employee
Data controller – a person/firm that controls the content & use of personal data, e.g. a firm/company
Data processor – person/firm that processes personal data on behalf of a data controller, e.g. a computer bureau
Data commissioner – appointed by the act to oversee the Act and to maintain a register of all data controllers
Enforcement of the Act
The data protection act established the data protection commissioner. His/her role is to ensure that those who keep personal information on computer comply with the provisions of the act.