Records Management

The eight data protection principles

The Data Protection Act sets out eight principles governing the use of personal information which we must comply with, unless an exemption applies.

The principles are in essence a code of good practice for processing personal data. Expanded information on each of the principles is available in Schedule 1 part 2 of the Act.

Schedule 1 part 2 of the Data Protection Act

First principle - Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully and, in particular, shall not be processed unless at least one of the conditions in Schedule 2 is met and in the case of sensitive personal data, at least one of the conditions set out in Schedule 3 or either of the two Statutory Instruments below is met.

Schedule 2

Schedule 3

Statutory Instrument 417/2000

Statutory Instrument 2905/2002

Second principle - Personal data shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes, and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes.

Third principle - Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed.

Fourth principle - Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date.

Fifth principle - Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes.

Sixth principle - Personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects under this Act.

Seventh principle - Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data.

Eighth principle - Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area, unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data.