Data Protection Commission

3.16  Should back-up data be considered as part of an access request?

Back-up data are data kept only for the limited purpose of replacing other data in the event of their being lost, destroyed or damaged. Data kept for any other purpose, such as archive data, would not be considered back-up data. As back-up data are meant to be only copies of "live" data, they are not subject to the same strict rules as "live" data. They are not considered to be subject to an access request made pursuant to Section 4 of the Data Protection Acts. However, in a situation where only the back-up data remains, this would be subject to the full requirements of the Acts – including providing copies in response to an access request.