Outline the Data Protection Act and give examples of breaches.

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Data Protection Act

What is it?

With the growth of information in technology, large databases are needed to hold the huge amounts of information. Global networks are used to share and distribute this information around the world in seconds. In order to control this and to protect people’s right to privacy, the Data Protection Act was introduced in 1984.

The 8 basic principles:

Data should…

  1. Not be transferred to countries that do not have suitable data protection laws - There are similar data protection rules in all European Union countries. It is therefore acceptable to transfer personal data to another EU country, as it will still be protected.

However, this principle refers to the European Economic Area (EEA) - this includes Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. ().

Others countries, such as the United States, have not got suitable data protection laws either so personal data should not be sent to these countries.

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This rule ensures there is no getting around the data protection act by just sending data to somewhere where it is legal to reveal it.

  1. Be processed fairly and lawfully -  Basically, this means that the company must:

• Tell people why, in clear language, they are processing their data.

• Tell people about any nonobvious reasons for which their data is being processed for.

It is important that it is in "clear language" because hiding important things by using complex terms is not fair. Neither is it regarded as fair to have a notice ...

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