The Data Protection Act of 2018 is an important piece of legislation that sets out the rules governing the protection of personal data, and has been designed to ensure that individuals have control over their personal data. It is a significant step forward in protecting the privacy of individuals, as well as providing greater clarity for businesses, government departments and other organisations regarding the appropriate use of personal data. This article provides an overview of the key elements of the Data Protection Act of 2018, including how it applies to organisations, how it affects data subjects, and what steps organisations need to take to comply with it.
The Data Protection Act of 2018 (DPA 2018)was introduced to replace the 1998 version of the law. It was designed to bring the UK in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was introduced in May 2018 across Europe.
The DPA 2018 provides individuals with more control over their data and gives organizations more responsibility when collecting and using personal data. The main elements of the DPA 2018 include:
- The right to be informed: Individuals have the right to be informed about how their data is being used. Organizations must provide clear information on how they are collecting and using personal data.
- The right of access: Individuals can request a copy of any personal data held about them by an organization.
- The right to rectification: Individuals can ask an organization to correct any inaccurate or incomplete personal data they hold about them.
- The right to erasure (or ‘right to be forgotten’): Individuals can ask an organization to delete any personal data they hold about them.
- The right to restrict processing: Individuals can ask an organization to restrict how their data is used.
- The right to data portability: Individuals can request that their personal data is transferred from one organization to another in a secure and timely manner.
- The right to object: Individuals can object to the use of their personal data for certain purposes, such as direct marketing or automated decision making.
- Rights related to automated decision making and profiling: Individuals have the right not to be subject to decisions based solely on automated processing or profiling.
Background of the DPA 2018The Data Protection Act of 2018 was created in response to the changing digital landscape, and was designed to provide individuals with more control over their personal data. It replaces the previous Data Protection Directive from 1995 and applies to all EU member states.
It also affects any organization that processes personal data, regardless of its location. The main objective of the DPA 2018 is to strengthen data protection for individuals, by giving them more control over their personal data and by ensuring that organizations process it responsibly. It outlines rules for how organizations must collect, store, and use personal data, and provides individuals with the right to access and rectify any information held about them. It also introduces new rights, such as the right to be forgotten and the right to data portability.
How Organizations Must Comply with the DPA 2018Organizations must take several steps in order to comply with the Data Protection Act of 2018 (DPA 2018). These include taking reasonable steps to protect personal data, notifying the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if required, and appointing a Data Protection Officer (DPO).
Reasonable Steps to Protect Personal DataOrganizations are required to take appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect personal data from unauthorized access and use.
This includes using up-to-date encryption software, creating secure passwords, and regularly backing up data. Additionally, organizations should ensure that only those with authorized access can access personal data.
Notifying the ICOOrganizations are required to notify the ICO when they process personal data. Depending on the type of processing, notification must be done either before or after the processing begins.
Additionally, organizations must update their notification whenever their processing activities change.
Appointing a Data Protection OfficerOrganizations that process large amounts of personal data or process special categories of data are required to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO). The DPO is responsible for ensuring that the organization complies with all relevant data protection laws. Additionally, the DPO should provide advice and guidance to staff and customers on data protection issues.
Key Components of the DPA 2018The Data Protection Act of 2018 (DPA 2018) contains several key components that provide individuals with rights regarding their personal data and establish rules for organizations when collecting and using it.
The following are some of the main components:Right to be Informed: This provides individuals with the right to be informed about how and why their personal data is being processed. This includes details such as the purpose of processing, the legal basis, any third parties it is shared with, and retention periods.
Right of Access:Individuals have the right to obtain confirmation that their data is being processed and access to a copy of the personal data being processed. Organizations must provide this information free of charge and within one month.
Right to Rectification:Individuals have the right to have inaccurate or incomplete personal data rectified. They can also request that organizations erase their data in certain circumstances.
Right to Erasure:This is often referred to as the ‘right to be forgotten’ and gives individuals the right to request that their personal data be erased under certain conditions.
Right to Restrict Processing:This allows individuals to request that their data is only used for certain purposes, such as storage.
This restriction can be placed on any personal data that is inaccurate, being processed unlawfully, or no longer necessary for the purpose it was collected for.