The Data Protection Act applies to personal information and ensures that it is handled properly.
Personal information is information about you. It can be your name, address or telephone number. It can be the type of job you do, the things you buy and the place you went to school.
The Act works in two ways. Firstly, it helps to protect your interests by obliging organisations to manage the information they hold in a proper way. Secondly, it gives you important rights, including the right to know what information is held about you and the right to correct information that is wrong. You also have the right to claim compensation through the courts if an organisation breaches the Act and this causes you damage, such as financial loss. If it has, you can also claim for distress.
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is the UK's independent public body set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.