The Data Protection Acts put a lot of power into your hands. Remember, you have the right to demand a copy of whatever is kept about you on computer, or in structured manual files simply by making a request in writing. If you feel that there is any problem with the way your personal details are handled, you should consider this "right of access" as an important self-help tool. Seeing the information that is kept about you enables you to judge for yourself whether the details are incomplete or inaccurate - and whether the organisation should even be holding the details in the first place.
If you find that there are problems with the details kept about you, you can insist that those keeping the personal information fulfil their obligations. Inaccurate information about you must be corrected; irrelevant or excessive information must be deleted. And you can demand that your name be removed from any direct marketing lists.
The Data Protection Commissioner will help you to secure your rights:
- with advice and information
- by intervening directly on your behalf if you feel you have not been given satisfaction
- by taking action against those failing to fulfil their obligations.