Accessing my personal information
Explains your rights to see and have copies of your personal information, and how to complain if access to your records is refused or if what is written about you is wrong.
- If you have a mental health problem, you may want to see what information an organisation keeps on file about you. This could include employers, doctors, hospitals, social services and the police.
- You usually have a legal right to access personal information – sometimes called personal data – held about you by an organisation. This right is protected by the Data Protection Act 2018 and UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR).
- There are some situations where an organisation is allowed to withhold your personal information from you.
- To access your personal information you need to make a request in writing, called a subject access request (SAR).
- Organisations have one calendar month to respond to your subject access request. They are not usually allowed to charge you a fee for supplying your data.
- If your request is refused or ignored, you can write to the organisation to remind them of their obligations. If they still don't provide what you've asked for, you can complain to the organisation.
- If you don't receive a satisfactory response to your complaint, you can complain to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).
General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR)
These regulations tell organisations how they can use your personal information. They also give you rights to access and correct personal information held about you.Visit our full listing of Legal Terms
Data Protection Act 2018
The Data Protection Act 2018 is the law that sets out how organisations must handle and process your information. It also gives you rights to access and correct personal information held about you.Visit our full listing of Legal Terms
Personal information (or personal data)
Information which relates to you in such a way that you can be identified from the information. Personal information might be held on computers, in emails, printed out or in handwritten documents, or in photographic images, videos or audio recordings.
To find out more about your rights regarding your personal information, see our pages on my personal information.Visit our full listing of Legal Terms
This information was published in November 2021. We will revise it in 2024.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.