Your data rights – how to exercise them

Last updated: September 2020

See also

How to exercise your rights

For example, how to make a subject access request.

It helps if you put your request in writing with the details we ask for below and send it to H&F InTouch but you can also ask us verbally.

Contact our H&F InTouch team to exercise your data rights:

Please let us know:

  • Your full name and, if relevant, any previous or alternative names you are or have been known by
  • Your address and, if relevant, any previous or alternative addresses where you’ve lived
  • As much detail as you can about the information you want. Please include:
    • any H&F services or directorates which you believe hold the information,
    • dates of your involvement with the council,
    • any reference numbers or contact names you may have,
    • anything else you think will help us to find the information.

Written requests

When we receive your written request we’ll:

  • let you know if we need any more information, and
  • ask you to provide proof of name and address.
  • if you’re acting on someone else’s behalf, we may ask you to provide proof you have their consent or authority to act on their behalf.

See Acceptable proof of identity and proof of authority to act for what you’ll need to provide as proof.

Please send or email good quality copies to us – we don’t need the originals. If you’d prefer to give them to us in person then please make an appointment by contacting our H&F InTouch team.

We’ll start working on your request once we’ve got your proof and any other information we’ve asked for to help us with your request.

Verbal requests

If you ask us verbally, we’ll:

  • write to you with our understanding of your request and ask you to confirm we’ve understood correctly,
  • let you know if we need any more information, and
  • ask you to provide proof of name and address.
  • if you’re acting on someone else’s behalf, we may ask you to provide proof you have their consent or authority to act on their behalf.

See Acceptable proof of identity and proof of authority to act for what you’ll need to provide as proof.

Please send or email good quality copies to us – we don’t need the originals. If you’d prefer to give them to us in person then please make an appointment by contacting our H&F InTouch team.

We’ll start working on your request once you’ve confirmed we’ve understood your request correctly, we’ve got your proof and any other information we’ve asked for to help us with your request.

When you’ll get a response

We’ll respond within 28 days of starting work on your request unless it’s very complex or large. If it’s complex or large it may take up to 3 months to respond in full so we’ll let you know within 28 days of starting work when we expect to respond. We’ll keep you updated if the date changes.

What does it cost?

Nothing – we must provide any information, communications and actions in response to your request free of charge unless your request is manifestly unfounded or excessive (for example if you make frequent, repeated requests). 

On the rare occasions we receive a manifestly unfounded or excessive request, we’ll let you know within 28 days that we’re refusing to act on your request because it’s manifestly unfounded or excessive.

Will you get everything you ask for?

We’ll let you know if we aren’t going to comply with your request in full or at all and we’ll tell you about your rights to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) or take court action.

If you make a ‘subject access request’ (SAR) under your right of access, you only have the right to see your own personal data (not others’ personal data unless you’re making a SAR on their behalf). This means we may need to redact (remove) others’ personal data from what we give you or we may give you an extract or summary of just your data.

There are some limited situations when we’re processing your SAR where we don’t have to give you your data – this is where data protection law gives an ‘exemption’ from us having to comply with your right of access. We’ve listed some examples of exemptions that might apply to your SAR:

  • Confidential references for example, if we receive an employment reference about you in confidence from your former employer your right of access won’t apply to the reference
  • Crime and taxation: general for example, if we need to process your data to prevent or detect a crime, your right of access won’t apply if us giving you the data we’re processing would prejudice our ability to prevent or detect a crime.
  • Health, Education or Social Work data: serious harm for example, if your data is health, education or social work data, then your right of access won’t apply if us giving you that data would be likely to cause serious harm to the physical or mental health of any individual
  • Legal professional privilege for example,onfidence) then your right of access won’t apply.

Usually, we’ll tell you if we don’t give you your data because an exemption applies and we’ll tell you why we’re not giving it to you.

In exceptional circumstances we don’t have to tell you we’re not giving you some of your data and why we’re not giving it to you. For example, if giving you some of your data would harm a criminal investigation then we don’t have to give you that data. If telling you we’ve not given you that data would also harm a criminal investigation we don’t have to tell you we’ve not given you that data.

See also