Accessing your personal information: the Data Protection Act 1998 gives you, the individual, the right to see what information an organisation holds about you.
Under Section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998 you are entitled to be told by a data controller if any personal data is held about you and, if so:
You are also entitled;
You are entitled to see information of which you are the Data Subject and which comprises your personal data.
For information to be your personal data you have to be identifiable from the data and you should also be the focus of it.
A data controller is entitled to request a fee of up to 10.00 per request. However, it is important to note that different fee structures apply to some 'accessible records' such as health, education or social services files.
Data controllers may ask you for any information they reasonably need to verify your identity and to locate the data.
This means you should provide the data controller with proof of your identity and information which will assist the data controller in locating your personal data. For instance any relevant reference numbers or account numbers, dates of correspondence and details of employees you have dealt with.
It is important to note that a data controller does not have to respond to a request until it is provided with sufficient information necessary to confirm your identity and to locate the information you seek, so it is important to provide this information from the outset.