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You can make a subject access request to find out what data is held and how it is used. You may make a subject access request before exercising your other information rights.

You can make a subject access request verbally or in writing. If you make your request verbally, we recommend you follow it up in writing to provide a clear trail of correspondence. It will also provide clear evidence of your actions.

Letter template

[Your full address]

[Phone number]

[The date]

[Name and address of the organisation]

Dear Sir or Madam

Subject access request ( Data Protection Act 2018 / General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) )

[Your full name and address, any previous address/names and any other details to help identify you and the data you want.]

Please supply the data about me that I am entitled to under data protection law  relating to: [give specific details of the data you want, for example:

[• my personnel file
• emails between ‘person A’ and ‘person B’ (from 1 June 2017 to 1 Sept 2017)
• my medical records (between 2014 and 2017) held by ‘Dr C’ at ‘hospital D’
• copies of statements (between 2013 and 2017) held in account number xxxxx.]

If you need any more data from me to confirm my identity please let me know as soon as possible. It may be helpful for you to know that data protection law requires you to respond to a request for data within one calendar month.

If you do not normally deal with these requests, please pass this letter to your Data Protection Officer, or relevant staff member. If you need advice on dealing with this request, the Information Commissioner’s Office can assist you. Its website is ico.org.uk or it can be contacted on 0303 123 1113.

Yours faithfully

[Signature]

An organisation has one month to respond to your request. In certain circumstances it may need extra time to consider your request and can take up to an extra two months. If it is going to do this, it should let you know within one month that it needs more time and why.

A copy of your personal data should be provided free. An organisation may charge for additional copies. It can only charge a fee if it thinks the request is ‘manifestly unfounded or excessive’. If so, it may ask for a reasonable fee for administrative costs associated with the request.

You can read information about the new Act here or download a PDF copy of the full Act here  > Data Protection Act 2018

You can find guidance on your rights and responsibilities on the Information Commissioners Website

There are some longer and more detailed versions available on the forum in our Member Guides section

If you can’t find the information you are looking for, or just want some support and help, please post on the forum

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