What do I need to know about a subject access request?

Napthens - March 7th 2017

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What do I need to know about a Subject Access Request?

“For subject access requests the first question is what constitutes personal data.  This information is going to be related either to the individual personally that you could identify them from that information and/or it may affect them personally from a business capacity.

When a subject access request is submitted you must identify to the individual that they need to pay a £10.00 administration fee, identify whether or not you need documentation to confirm who that individual is and whether or not they can identify the sources which may assist you in determining what information to collect.  A question that is commonly asked is I can understand what information I can disclose but what information do I not have to disclose.  This can include factors such as business sensitive information, for example where a restructure is about to take place in the company but perhaps that hasn’t been announced to the individuals yet and so to do would compromise its position.  Another example is health records, in the event that is something that would cause serious harm to an individual there is the possibility that if a medical professional supported it then again those records could be withheld.   Again information that relates to a personal household or family recreational purposes again is something which may be subject to being withheld from an SAR Request.  It is important to know that a failure to comply with an SAR request could result in the Information Commissioner being brought in to assess and give a notice that you must comply with that requirement, an individual could go to the Courts and seek an order from the Judge in order to implement that particular process or alternatively they could seek compensation for your failure to comply.

In the event you have any questions about an SAR request I strongly recommend that you contact one of the Employment Team at Napthens and we will be more than happy to assist.”