What is data protection?

What is data protection?

Posted on Apr 07, 2016

What is data protection?



Data protection is designed to keep us safe by setting the rules on how information about us can be stored, shared or used.

It’s about taking people's personal data (think names, addresses, contact information, medical history, banking details, credit ratings and even employment records). It can also include – if necessary – sensitive personal data, such as someone’s political opinions.


Is data protection a legal requirement?

Within your organisation, the way data is collected, accessed, updated, stored and disposed of is all covered by Data Protection law. 

As a company, you do have a legal responsibility to demonstrate a duty of care and compliance when it comes to handling, managing and storing data.

The rules and regulations set out in the Data Protection Act 1998 state that all staff that are involved in processing personal information – from customer databases to employee records – must have, at the very least, a basic understanding of the data protection principles.


The data protection principals state that:


  • Personal data shall be processed fairly and within the law.
  • Personal data can only be held for specific and lawful purposes.
  • Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed.
  • Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up-to-date.
  • Personal data shall not be kept for longer than is necessary.
  • Personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects under this Act.
  • Appropriate technical and organisational security measures shall be taken against unauthorised access to data. 
  • Personal data must not be transferred to a country outside the European Union unless that country or territory has similar legislation to the Data Protection Act that protects data.


Data protection best practice

Examples of data protection best practice in your organisation include the length of time you say you keep (and actually do keep) information from your clients, employees or volunteers. Application forms, booking forms and basic contact details. 

Companies and individuals that do not comply with data protection rules and regulations face criminal proceedings, fines and serious damage to their reputation.

In short, all your staff that collect, store and work with personal information need training in data protection. Don’t get caught out, sign up with flick today and get that box checked.

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