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The Data Protection Act, 1998

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Introduction

The Data Protection Act, 1998 The 'right to privacy' is a right we all expect. We do not expect personal details such as our age, medical records, personal family details and, political and religious beliefs to be freely available to everybody. With the growth of information and communication technology, large databases are able to hold huge quantities of information and global networks are able to share and distribute this information around the world in seconds. To protect people and their personal information, the Data Protection Act was formed. The first Act was made law in 1984 but was replaced by a new Act in 1998 to include the European Union law. ...read more.

Middle

be kept secure against loss, damage and unauthorised and unlawful processing 8. not be transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area Personal data Personal data is data that can identify a living person and allow an opinion to be expressed about that person. For example, just a name and address is not considered personal data. If the data also includes their date of birth nd earnings this is considered personal data. The data can be further classified as 'sensitive' personal data if it includes details of a person's: * racial or ethnic origins * religious beliefs * their physical or mental health or condition * political opinions * whether members of trade unions * sexual life One big change between the 1984 version of the Act and the 1998 version is that manual records(not kept on a computer are now subject to legislation) ...read more.

Conclusion

receive compensation for damage and distress caused by use of the data * have data corrected, blocked and erased if inaccurate * make a request to the Data Protection Commissioner if they feel the Act has been contravened Exemptions There are exemptions to the Act and exemptions in the rules governing the need to register data. These include data that is: * related to national security * associated with crime and taxation * involved in health, education and social work * used in regulatory activities by public 'watch dogs' * processed for special (journalistic, literary and artistic) purposes * used in research, history and statistics * required by law and in connection with legal proceedings being disclosed * held for domestic purposes, eg household, personal and family affairs. ...read more.

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