Disclosure of Information: Fees and Charges

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 24th September 2021.

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Photo of Kirsten Oswald Kirsten Oswald SNP Deputy Leader, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Women), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Equalities)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department has conducted an equality impact assessment of the introduction of fees to exercise data subject access requests.

Photo of Julia Lopez Julia Lopez Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office), Minister of State

The right of access is one of the fundamental rights in data protection legislation and the government will protect it. Subject access requests are a critical transparency mechanism under this right, allowing individuals to check the accuracy of their personal data, learn more about how their data is being used and with whom their data is being shared, and obtain a copy of the data held about them.

The consultation paper Data: A New Direction, published on 10 September, considers whether to re-introduce fees for responding to subject access requests. Any fee regime would be structured fairly so as not to undermine an individual's right to access their personal data.

An initial equality impact assessment has been conducted and a final assessment will be developed during and after the consultation process. Through the consultation, the government is seeking views on what, if any, safeguards should apply in order to mitigate any adverse impacts were this proposal to be pursued further.

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