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ICT - Data Protection

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DATA PROTECTION The Data Protection Act (DPA) is a law designed to protect personal data stored on computers. The 1998 Data Protection Act was passed by Parliament to control the way information is handled and to give legal rights to people who have information stored about them. The power of the computer During the second half of the 20th century computers were getting more powerful and easy to use. Companies, government and other organisations began to use them to store large amounts of information about people, such as their customers, clients and staff. Databases with this information can be quickly set up, searched, edited and accessed and take up less space than paper records. Personal data on computer Instead of paper records, computers were also being used routinely to keep personal data about people. This information included:- * names * addresses * financial information * medical records * criminal records * employment history For example, being a member of a sports club would mean that your name, age, medical details and payment record would be stored on a computer file. Ease of access to the information The information stored could be far more easily and flexibly used than if it was stored on paper. ...read more.


If someone who is not entitled to see these details can obtain access without permission it is unauthorised access. The Data Protection Act sets up rules to prevent this kind of unauthorised access to personal data and information. The Act sets up two types of personal data:- Personal data is about living people and could be:- - their name - address - medical details or banking details 'Sensitive' personal data is also about living people, but it includes one or more details of a data subject's: - racial or ethnic origin - political opinions - religion - membership of a trade union - health - criminal activity. There are more safeguards about sensitive data than ordinary personal data. Usually, a person must be asked specifically if sensitive data can be kept. The rights of data subjects People whose personal data is stored are called data subjects. The Act sets up rights for people who have data kept about them. You need to know these rights for the exam. They are: A Right of Subject Access A data subject has a right to be supplied by a data controller with the personal data held about him or her. The data controller can charge for this: usually a few pounds. ...read more.


It's great - because it saves a lot of time and effort! Text Message Alerts Alert services give information such as updates on the latest news headlines, sport scores and share prices. So they could be a newsflash or a football goal alert! Other alerts might be your daily horoscope and information services covering everything from music news to the latest stock market quotes. Normally you will 'sign up' to receive such a service by dialling a premium rate telephone number to cover the cost to the company of sending you the messages. Or, by sending a simple text message to a mobile number with a keyword such as 'START'. If you have not paid for the messages as part of the registration you will probably be charged for each text alert message you receive. So, it's really important to remember that nothing in this world is for free and to read all the small print. Logos and Ring tones Some of the more popular mobile phone handsets allow simple customisation. Using SMS technology you can receive short musical ringtones or small pictures to replace the operator logo on the main screen of your phone. But beware! Most of these services are now charged for, and often you have to use a premium rate telephone number to pay for the ringtone or logo. ...read more.

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