As data controllers, GPs have fair processing responsibilities under the Data Protection Act and GDPR law 2018. This means ensuring that your personal confidential data (PCD) is handled in ways that are safe, transparent and what you would reasonably expect. Please find documents and links below.
Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act was passed on 30 November 2000. It gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, with full access granted in January 2005. The Act sets out exemptions to that right and places certain obligations on public authorities.
FOI replaced the Open Government Code of Practice, which has been in operation since 1994.
Data Protection and FOI – how do the two interact?
The Data Protection Act 1998 came into force on 1 March 2000. It provides living individuals with a right of access to personal information held about them. The right applies to all information held in computerised form and also to non-computerised information held in filing systems structured so that specific information about particular individuals can retrieved readily.
Individuals already have the right to access information about themselves (personal data), which is held on computer and in some paper files under the Data Protection Act 1998.
The right also applies to those archives that meet these criteria. However, the right is subject to exemptions, which will affect whether information is provided. Requests will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
The Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act are the responsibility of the Lord Chancellor’s Department. A few of its strategic objectives being:
- To improve people’s knowledge and understanding of their rights and responsibilities
- Seeking to encourage an increase in openness in the public sector
- Monitoring the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information
- Developing a data protection policy which properly balances personal information privacy with the need for public and private organisations to process personal information
The Data Protection Act does not give third parties rights of access to personal information for research purposes.
The FOI Act does not give individuals access to their personal information, though if a request is made, the Data Protection Act gives the individual this right. If the individual chooses to make this information public it could be used alongside non-personal information gained by the public under the terms of the FOI Act.
A cookie is a small file, typically of letters and numbers, downloaded on to a device (like your computer or smart phone) when you access certain websites.
Cookies allow a website to recognise a user’s device.
Some cookies help websites to remember choices you make (e.g. which language you prefer if you use the Google Translate feature). Analytical cookies are to help us measure the number of visitors to a website. The two types we use are ‘Session’ and ‘Persistent’ cookies. Some cookies are temporary and disappear when you close your web browser, others may remain on your computer for a set period of time.
We do not knowingly collect or intend to collect any personal information about you using cookies. We do not share your personal information with anyone.
What can I do to manage cookies on my devices?
Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit www.allaboutcookies.org.
To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.
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