The Data Protection Act gives individuals certain rights regarding information held about them. It places obligations on those who process information (data controllers) while giving rights to those who are the subject of that data (data subjects). Personal information covers both facts and opinions about the individual.

North Devon Council and the Data Protection Act

In order to provide its services effectively, North Devon Council holds a great deal of personal information much of which is confidential.

The purpose of the Data Protection Act is to protect personal information about living individuals. The act places legal obligations on organisations that handle personal data. The council must comply with the act and does so by applying the eight 'principles of data protection', which are legally enforceable.
North Devon Council is fully committed to obeying the act and has registered as a data controller. It has an appointed Data Protection officer to ensure that all of its obligations under the act are met.

If you have any enquiries which are related to the Data Protection Act 1998, you can email

Organisations that hold personal information have a duty under the act to provide individuals with access to information about themselves if they request it. Under the act you have a legal right to ask:

  • what personal information the council holds about you (subject to some exemptions)
  • why the council holds personal information about you
  • to whom the information is disclosed
  • that inaccurate information is corrected

Should you wish access to your data, please print and complete the Subject Access Request form (pdf 30 kB).

The eight principles of good practice

Anyone processing personal information must comply with eight enforceable principles of good information handling practice.

These say that data must be:

  • fairly and lawfully processed
  • processed for limited purposes
  • adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • accurate and up to date
  • not kept longer than necessary
  • processed in accordance with the individual's rights
  • secure
  • not transferred to countries outside European Economic Area unless the country has adequate protection for the individual

National fraud initiative

North Devon Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. We may share information provided to us with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

Our fair processing notice sets out our responsibilities under the national fraud initiative.