Harriet Harman (Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs; Camberwell and Peckham, Labour)
The Data Protection Act 1998, which accurately reflects the requirements of the Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC), puts in place a firm regulatory structure to ensure the legitimate processing of individuals' personal data. It provides substantial rights for individuals in respect of their personal data, including the right of subject access, the right to prevent processing likely to cause damage or distress, the right to prevent processing for the purposes of direct marketing, rights in relation to automated decision-making, compensation for failure to comply with certain of the Act's requirements, and the right to have data rectified, blocked, erased or otherwise destroyed in certain circumstances. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 also extended individuals' right of subject access, in respect of all public authorities, to include a much wider range of non-computerised records. We currently have no plans to review the Act.