Data protection

Privacy and security of information are issues that have gained considerable prominence in recent years.

You may not realise it but, as an organisation, you hold a huge amount of personal data, whether it relates to your employees, customers, suppliers, referrers or competitors. This means that you are a data controller.

The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) sets out a number of principles that every data controller has to follow in relation to personal data held by them:

  • Data shall be processed fairly and lawfully;
  • Data shall be obtained only for lawful purposes;
  • Data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive;
  • Data shall be accurate and up to date;
  • Data shall not be kept for longer than necessary;
  • Data shall be processed in accordance with the DPA;
  • Measures shall be taken to prevent unauthorised or unlawful processing of data; and
  • Data shall not be transferred outside of the European Economic Area (EEA).

It is important that you have in place a clear data protection policy which your employees are all aware of and that you regularly review the way you store and process data to make sure that you’re keeping it as safe as possible.

Often, the first time that an employer will come across the DPA in practice is when they receive a “subject access request”.  These are simply requests by individuals to see exactly what information you have about them.  Subject access requests must be taken seriously and you must provide the information requested within 40 days.

If you have received a subject access request from an existing or former employee or job applicant and want to discuss exactly what you need to do, speak to our employment team for more detailed advice.

Meet the team

Kathryn Casey-Evans
Partner
Employment
Southampton
023 8082 0468
07881 343956
Employment
Simon Rhodes
Senior Partner & Head of Employment
Employment
Southampton
023 8082 0547
07884 184 613
Employment
James Humphery
Senior Solicitor
Employment
Salisbury
01722 426915
Employment
Charlotte Harwood
Trainee Solicitor
Employment
Southampton
023 8082 0475
Employment
Phoebe Geal
Legal Assistant
Employment
Southampton
023 8082 0504
Employment
Mila Ragi
Legal Secretary
Employment, Agriculture & Rural Property
Salisbury
01722 426904
Employment, Agriculture & Rural Property