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Personal data

As defined by the Data Protection Act 1998, data relating to a specific individual where the individual is identified or identifiable in the hands of a recipient of the data.

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Average: 4 (1 vote)

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Sole proprieters' businesses

For a one person business, should their business data be regareded as personal?  It may be their only source of income, after all.

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This definition is too simplistic

This is how the Data Protection Act 1998 actually defines personal data:

"personal data" means data which relate to a living individual who can be identified—
(a) from those data, or
(b) from those data and other information which is in the possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller,
and includes any expression of opinion about the individual and any indication of the intentions of the data controller or any other person in respect of the individual;

The APPSI definition is reductive, and in particular leaves out the crucial reference to "living" individuals.

And should we rely on a DPA-based definition at all, for general purposes? There are broader definitions used in other legislation of relevance to public sector handling of data. For example HMRC and the UK Statistics Authority both operate under statutes that define "personal information" to include information that identifies bodies corporate as well as natural persons.

-- Owen Boswarva, 04/02/2014

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