You are viewing this legislation item as it stood at a particular point in time. A later version of this or provision, including subsequent changes and effects, supersedes this version.
Note the term provision is used to describe a definable element in a piece of legislation that has legislative effect – such as a Part, Chapter or section.
There are outstanding changes not yet made by the legislation.gov.uk editorial team to Data Protection Act 1998. Any changes that have already been made by the team appear in the content and are referenced with annotations.
Changes and effects yet to be applied by the editorial team are only applicable when viewing the latest version or prospective version of legislation. They are therefore not accessible when viewing legislation as at a specific point in time. To view the ‘Changes to Legislation’ information for this provision return to the latest version view using the options provided in the ‘What Version’ box above.
(1)In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“data” means information which—
is being processed by means of equipment operating automatically in response to instructions given for that purpose,
is recorded with the intention that it should be processed by means of such equipment,
is recorded as part of a relevant filing system or with the intention that it should form part of a relevant filing system, or
does not fall within paragraph (a), (b) or (c) but forms part of an accessible record as defined by section 68;
“data controller” means, subject to subsection (4), a person who (either alone or jointly or in common with other persons) determines the purposes for which and the manner in which any personal data are, or are to be, processed;
“data processor”, in relation to personal data, means any person (other than an employee of the data controller) who processes the data on behalf of the data controller;
“data subject” means an individual who is the subject of personal data;
“personal data” means data which relate to a living individual who can be identified—
from those data, or
from those data and other information which is in the possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller,
and includes any expression of opinion about the individual and any indication of the intentions of the data controller or any other person in respect of the individual;
“processing”, in relation to information or data, means obtaining, recording or holding the information or data or carrying out any operation or set of operations on the information or data, including—
organisation, adaptation or alteration of the information or data,
retrieval, consultation or use of the information or data,
disclosure of the information or data by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, or
alignment, combination, blocking, erasure or destruction of the information or data;
“relevant filing system” means any set of information relating to individuals to the extent that, although the information is not processed by means of equipment operating automatically in response to instructions given for that purpose, the set is structured, either by reference to individuals or by reference to criteria relating to individuals, in such a way that specific information relating to a particular individual is readily accessible.
(2)In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
(a)“obtaining” or “recording”, in relation to personal data, includes obtaining or recording the information to be contained in the data, and
(b)“using” or “disclosing”, in relation to personal data, includes using or disclosing the information contained in the data.
(3)In determining for the purposes of this Act whether any information is recorded with the intention—
(a)that it should be processed by means of equipment operating automatically in response to instructions given for that purpose, or
(b)that it should form part of a relevant filing system,
it is immaterial that it is intended to be so processed or to form part of such a system only after being transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area.
(4)Where personal data are processed only for purposes for which they are required by or under any enactment to be processed, the person on whom the obligation to process the data is imposed by or under that enactment is for the purposes of this Act the data controller.
The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.
Would you like to continue?
The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.
Would you like to continue?
Would you like to continue?
Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.
Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.
Point in Time: This becomes available after navigating to view revised legislation as it stood at a certain point in time via Advanced Features > Show Timeline of Changes or via a point in time advanced search.
Geographical Extent: Indicates the geographical area that this provision applies to. For further information see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
Show Timeline of Changes: See how this legislation has or could change over time. Turning this feature on will show extra navigation options to go to these specific points in time. Return to the latest available version by using the controls above in the What Version box.
Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:
Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:
Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including: