Individuals have the right to access their personal data and supplementary information. The right of access allows individuals to be aware of and verify the lawfulness of the processing. Our business must comply with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and we must be able to demonstrate compliance to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
Upon receipt of a request for information our internal policy is as follows:
Emma Barnes, CEO, is responsible for the handling of Subject Access Requests (SAR) in our business. The duties of Emma Barnes include but are not limited to:
- Log the receipt and fulfilment of all requests received from a data subject/the person making the request/ requestor to see his or her personal information.
- Acknowledge the subject access request (SAR).
- Verify the identity of any person making a SAR.
- Maintain a record on the volume of requests and compliance against the statutory timescale.
- Verify whether if we are the controller of the data subject’s personal data.
- Check if we are not a controller, but rather a processor. If so, inform the data subject and refer them to the actual controller. This needs to be recorded in writing.
- Where applicable, decide if a request is excessive, unfounded or repetitive and communicate this to the requestor.
- Decide if an exemption applies.
If a SAR is submitted in electronic form, any information should preferably be provided by electronic means as well.
Oral or written requests
Subject access requests can be made in writing, electronically or verbally. If a member of staff is in any doubt if a certain situation has given rise to a SAR, contact Emma Barnes by email providing full details of the incident. Staff should do this without delay and certainly within seven business days. Where a member of staff receives a subject access request, they must email the relevant information to emma@Consonance.com without delay and certainly within seven business days.
How do we verify the requestor’s identity?
The requestor must supply valid evidence to prove their identity. We may verify the requestor’s identity either through a phone call where we ask questions that only the requestor will know the answers to or by requesting forms of identification. We accept the following forms of identification:
Examples include: • Current UK/EEA Passport • UK Driving Licence • Financial Statement issued by bank, building society or credit card company • Utility bill for supply of gas, electric, water or telephone landline
How to process the request
Our aim is to determine what information the requestor is asking for. If the request is not clear, or where if we process a large quantity of information about an individual, the GDPR permits us to ask the individual to specify the information the request relates to. Where this applies, we will proceed with a request for additional information. We must verify whether we process the data requested. If we do not process any such data, we must inform the data subject accordingly. We must respond to the data subject within 30 days of receiving the request as valid. This is a requirement under the GDPR. Any employee, who receives a request from Emma Barnes to locate and supply information relating to a SAR, must make a full exhaustive search of the records which they are responsible for or owns. This may include but is not limited to emails (including archived emails and those that have been deleted but are still recoverable), Word documents, spreadsheets, databases, systems, removable media (for example, memory sticks), recordings, paper records in relevant filing systems. Emma Barnes should check whether the data requested also involves data on other data subjects and make sure this data is filtered before the requested data is supplied to the requestor; if data cannot be filtered, ensure that other data subjects have consented to the supply of their data as part of the SAR. All the information that has been requested must be provided unless an exemption can be applied (see below). Information must be supplied in an intelligible form and we will explain acronyms, codes or complex terms.
No charge to comply with the request (with exceptions)
We will provide a copy of the information free of charge, as per the GDPR rules. However, we may charge a ‘reasonable fee’ when a request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is repetitive. We may also charge a reasonable fee to comply with requests for further copies of the same information. We understand that this does not mean that we can charge for all subsequent access requests. Where applicable, Emma Barnes will determine the ‘reasonable fee’ that must be based on our administrative cost of providing the information.
Excessive, manifestly unfounded or repetitive requests
Where requests are manifestly unfounded, excessive and repetitive, we may refuse to act on the request or charge a reasonable administration fee. Emma Barnes will make a decision on this. Emma Barnes must provide information on our decision to the requestor in writing within 30 days and must state how they reached their decision.
As stated we have to respond to a SAR within 30 days. If more time is needed to respond to complex requests, an extension of another two months is permissible, provided this is communicated to the data subject in a timely manner within 30 days. Where we decide not take action on the request of the data subject, we need to inform the data subject of this decision without delay and at the latest within 30 days of receipt of the request.
Our response to the requestor
After processing the SAR, our response to the requestor should include:
- The purpose(s) the processing;
- The categories of personal data concerned;
- The recipients or categories of recipients to whom personal data has been or will be disclosed, in particular in third countries or international organisations, including any appropriate safeguards for transfer of data;
- The envisaged period for which personal data will be stored, or, if not possible, the criteria used to determine that period;
- The existence of the right to request rectification or erasure of personal data or restriction of processing of personal data concerning the data subject or to object to such processing;
- The right to lodge a complaint with the ICO;
- If the data has not been collected from the data subject: the source of such data;
- The existence of any automated decision-making, including profiling and any meaningful information about the logic involved, as well as the significance and the envisaged consequences of such processing for the requestor.
How to handle exemptions?
If a member of staff believes that we have a valid business reason for an exemption, please inform Emma Barnes without delay by email to emma@Consonance.com. Exempt information must be redacted from the released documents with an explanation of why that information is being withheld.
Where a requestor is not satisfied with a response to a SAR, we must manage this as a complaint. We must advise the requestor that if they remain unhappy with the outcome they may complain to the Information Commissioners Office or take legal action against us.
Breaches of this policy by members of staff will be investigated and may result in disciplinary action.