Demystifying Data Protection

The Information Commissioner’s Office has just launched a Guide to Data Protection, available on the ICO website.  At the heart of the guidance is a detailed commentary on each of the Data Protection Principles, and on the conditions for processing set out in Schedule 2 and 3 of the Act.

The Data Protection Act 1998 is, notoriously, not user-friendly.  One of the problems is that so much of its central content is tucked away in the Schedules: for instance, you have to get as far as Schedule 7, paragraph 10 before you find out that there is an exemption to the right of subject access where information is protected by legal professional privilege.   So assistance in navigating the legislation is very welcome.

On a first glance, the ICO Guide looks as if it will be of real help – clearly written, comprehensive, but not unduly lengthy.  It will also be useful to those wanting to know how the ICO itself might interpret and enforce the Act.